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WKU to confer degrees to more than 2,600 in 177th Commencement

Graduate ceremony May 15; 3 undergraduate ceremonies May 16; regional campus events May 7 and May 18; Gatton Academy graduation May 16

WKU will confer degrees and certificates to 2,620 spring and summer graduates in graduate and undergraduate ceremonies of its 177th Commencement May 15-16 at Diddle Arena.

WKU's 177th Commencement will be held May 15-16 at Diddle Arena. The graduate ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. May 15 with three undergraduate ceremonies at 9:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. May 16.

WKU’s 177th Commencement will be held May 15-16 at Diddle Arena. The graduate ceremony will begin at 5 p.m. May 15 with three undergraduate ceremonies at 9:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. May 16. (WKU photo by Clinton Lewis)

During the graduate ceremony at 5 p.m. May 15, WKU will confer 538 master’s, 12 doctor of education, 11 doctor of nursing practice and six specialist in education degrees and 49 graduate certificates. The John D. Minton Award for outstanding graduate student also will be presented.

During three undergraduate ceremonies at 9:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. May 16, WKU will confer 1,825 baccalaureate degrees, 111 associate degrees and 68 undergraduate certificates.

WKU President Gary Ransdell will deliver remarks at the graduate and undergraduate ceremonies.

The 9:30 a.m. undergraduate ceremony will include Gordon Ford College of Business and the College of Health and Human Services as well as recognition of members of the Class of 1965 who will be on campus for the Golden Anniversary Club Reunion; the 2 p.m. ceremony will include Ogden College of Science and Engineering and the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; and the 6 p.m. ceremony will include University College and Potter College of Arts & Letters as well as recognition of the Ogden Foundation Scholar.

The undergraduate ceremonies will include the parade of U.S. and international flags and recognition of honor graduates and faculty award winners. Each graduate will be given a Class of 2015 red towel to wave at the conclusion of the ceremony.

Fourteen Army ROTC cadets also will be commissioned as second lieutenants during the weekend ceremonies.

The undergraduate ceremonies will be broadcast live by WKU PBS and all ceremonies will be webcast live on WKU-PBS Ustream available at http://www.ustream.tv/channel/wku-pbs. For information about Commencement photography, video and webcast, visit http://www.wku.edu/commencement/commencement_photography.php

Gatton Academy graduation

In addition to WKU ceremonies, The Gatton Academy of Mathematics and Science in Kentucky will recognize 61 students from 38 counties in the Class of 2015, its eighth graduating class. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. May 16 at Van Meter Hall. Guest speaker will be state Rep. Jody Richards.

Regional campus ceremonies

5-7Graduand

WKU Glasgow’s Graduand Ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. May 7 at the Plaza Theatre in Glasgow.

WKU’s regional campuses also will have spring graduation events starting with WKU Glasgow’s Graduand recognition at 6:30 p.m. May 7 at the Plaza Theatre, 115 E. Main St. in Glasgow. Guest speaker will be WKU alumnus Clarence Glover, educator, former professional basketball player and member of the Hilltoppers’ 1971 Final Four team. The program will include student remarks, student awards and graduand recognition by WKU Provost Gordon Emslie. Graduand is a term of status referring to a student who has completed his or her studies at the university, but not yet graduated in a formal ceremony. The ceremony will be recorded by the Glasgow Electric Plant Board and aired on EPB Cable6; for details, visit the Glasgow Electric Plant Board at www.glasgowepb.net.

WKU Owensboro will host a commencement ceremony at 6:30 p.m. May 18 at the RiverPark Center, 101 Daviess St., Owensboro. Guest speaker will be WKU Provost Gordon Emslie.

WKU Elizabethtown/Fort Knox will host a commencement ceremony at 6:30 p.m. (Eastern time) May 18 at the Hardin County Schools Performing Arts Center at John Hardin High School, 384 W.A. Jenkins Road, Elizabethtown. Student speaker will be May graduate Jeffery Gerstenkorn, a native of Great Bend, Kansas, who served in the U.S. Army for 20 years before retiring in 2003. He is a member of the Phi Alpha Honor Society and the WKU Social Work Department. He and his wife, Kimberly, have two sons.

Seven graduates joining Teach for America

Seven members of WKU’s Class of 2015 have committed to joining the Teach for America program. Teach For America works in partnership with communities to expand educational opportunity for children facing the challenges of poverty. Founded in 1990, Teach For America recruits and develops a diverse corps of outstanding college graduates and professionals to make an initial two-year commitment to teach in high-need schools and become lifelong leaders in the movement to end educational inequity.

WKU graduates joining Teach for America are: Forrest Deacon of Leitchfield, who will teach English in Memphis, Tennessee; Caroline Culbreth of Edgewood, who will teach Bilingual Education in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Wesley Trail of Leitchfield, who will teach Mathematics in Memphis, Tennessee; Nefertiti Dukes of Miami Gardens, Florida, who will teach English in Miami, Florida; Kirsten Olson of Lexington, who will teach Early Childhood Education in Indianapolis, Indiana; Whitney Allen of Maysville, who will teach English as a Second Language in Cincinnati, Ohio; and Montrell Pryor of Nashville, Tennessee, who will teach Special Education in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Other recognition events

  • Lavender Recognition Ceremony, 7 p.m. May 11 at Augenstein Alumni Center
  • Study Abroad and Global Learning Graduation Reception, 5:30 p.m. May 13 at Knicely Conference Center
  • International Graduation Reception, 5 p.m. May 14 at Augenstein Alumni Center
  • Honors College Graduation Luncheon, 11 a.m. May 15 at Knicely Conference Center
  • Master of Social Work Program Ceremony, 2 p.m. May 15 at Mass Media and Technology Hall Auditorium
  • Educational Leadership Doctoral Program Hooding Ceremony, 2 p.m. May 15 at Gary Ransdell Hall Auditorium
  • Hilltopper Battalion Commissioning Ceremony, 3 p.m. May 15 at Downing Student Union Auditorium
  • Doctor of Nursing Practice Hooding Ceremony, 3 p.m. May 15 at Downing Student Union, room 3005.
  • Outstanding Black Graduates Recognition Ceremony, 7 p.m. May 15 at Van Meter Hall
  • WKU Alumni Commencement Celebration, noon and 4 p.m. May 16 at Augenstein Alumni Center
  • Dental Hygiene Pinning Ceremony and Reception, 2 p.m. May 16 at The Medical Center-WKU Health Sciences Complex

Contact: Registrar’s Office, (270) 745-3351

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