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Commencement set for Dec. 19 in Zorn Arena

RELEASED: Dec. 11, 2009

UW-Eau Claire sealEAU CLAIRE — Commencement exercises for 850 students at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire will be held Dec. 19 in Zorn Arena.

Candidates from the College of Arts and Sciences and candidates for master's degrees will receive degrees during a 9 a.m. ceremony. Candidates from the College of Business, College of Education and Human Sciences, and College of Nursing and Health Sciences will receive degrees during a 2 p.m. ceremony. Those unable to attend can view the ceremony online.

A total of 789 students are candidates for bachelor's degrees, including 300 from the College of Arts and Sciences, 217 from the College of Business, 215 from the College of Education and Human Sciences, and 57 from the College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

A total of 61 students are master's degree candidates. Of those, 16 are from the College of Arts and Sciences, 27 are from the College of Business, and 18 are from the College of Education and Human Sciences.

Chancellor Brian Levin-Stankevich will preside over the ceremonies and confer degrees. Provost and Vice Chancellor Patricia Kleine will present the candidates. Deans of the colleges will present the baccalaureate diplomas. Dr. Michael R. Wick, dean of Graduate Studies and associate vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Gail Scukanec, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences, will present diplomas and hood the master's degree candidates. Dr. Susan Harrison, chair of the University Senate, will serve as commencement marshal. Dr. Robert Knight, chair of music and theatre arts, will announce the candidates' names. Rachel Kohn will provide signing for the deaf and hard of hearing.

Monica Waterhouse, Antigo, a candidate for a bachelor of music education degree, will lead the "National Anthem" and the "University Alma Mater" at the morning ceremony. Jolie Wiley, Clintonville, a candidate for a bachelor of music education degree, will lead the "National Anthem" at the afternoon ceremony, and Collean Scanlon, Muskego, a candidate for a bachelor of music education degree, will lead the "University Alma Mater" at the afternoon ceremony. The UW-Eau Claire Faculty Brass Quintet will provide music.

Dr. John Hildebrand, professor emeritus of English, will deliver the "Charge to the Class" during the morning and afternoon ceremonies.

Fred Halfen will receive the Lifetime Excellence Award, which is presented to alumni who have demonstrated a long and successful commitment to their careers and communities. Halfen currently manages the Madison office of Ayres Associates and serves on the county Board of Supervisors representing the 26th district of Sauk County.

Several other alumni will receive awards from the UW-Eau Claire Alumni Association. The Distinguished Alumni Award will be granted to Michael Stone, a 1985 graduate. Stone is the president and CEO of The Stone Group Inc. This award recognizes distinguished service to the community, state or nation that brings credit upon the recipient and the university.

The President's Award, which recognizes outstanding professional and personal achievements and service to UW-Eau Claire, will be presented to Patricia Binder, a retired elementary school teacher named Outstanding Elementary Art Educator of the Year by the Wisconsin Art Education Association, and Barbara Lee, senior scientist with the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation, where she directs the National Farm Medicine Center and the National Children's Center for Rural and Agricultural Health and Safety.

Stacey Hanke, member of the St. Jude's auxiliary board for the Children's Research Hospital and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, and Dr. Charles Howe, associate professor of neurology and neuroscience at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, will receive the Outstanding Recent Alumnus Award, which acknowledges special achievements and great promise of alumni who are within 15 years of their graduation.

An honorary Alumnus Award will be presented to Rev. George Szews, pastor from the Newman Parish, in recognition of distinguished service to the community, state or nation that brings credit upon the award recipient and the UW-Eau Claire community. Visit the UW-Eau Claire Web site for more information on alumni award recipients.

Christina Huber, Cottage Grove, Minn., a candidate for a bachelor of arts in English literature, will give the "Reflections" during the morning ceremony; her speech is titled "FirstsLasts." Jennifer Bailey, New Lisbon, a candidate for a bachelor of business administration in operations/materials management, will deliver a "Reflections" titled "What is Your Story?" at the afternoon ceremony.

A reception for graduates and guests will follow each ceremony in the Spruce-Tamarack Room of Davies Center.

Tickets, required for admission to the morning and afternoon ceremonies, are available only to graduating students.

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RD/JB

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