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Commencement May 12
to feature Maya Angelou
Kesha Green, News Bureau
(217) 333-1085; firstname.lastname@example.org
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. The
131st commencement of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
will be held in two ceremonies May 12 at the Assembly Hall, 1800 S.
First St., Champaign.
The speaker at both ceremonies will be Maya Angelou, an acclaimed poet,
novelist, educator, civil rights activist and recipient of the National
Medal of Arts. Angelou and four others will receive honorary degrees
at the ceremonies.
At the 10:30 a.m. ceremony, candidates in the colleges of Applied Life
Studies, Communications, Law, Liberal Arts and Sciences, and Veterinary
Medicine; the Institute of Aviation; the Institute of Labor and Industrial
Relations; the School of Social Work; and the Graduate School of Library
and Information Science will receive degrees.
Candidates in the colleges of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental
Sciences; Commerce and Business Administration; Education; Engineering;
and Fine and Applied Arts will receive their degrees at the 2 p.m. ceremony.
WILL-AM (580) will provide on-air and online coverage of the 2 p.m.
ceremony through live audio streaming on its Web site (www.will.uiuc.edu).
Doors will open at 9:30 for the morning ceremony and at 1 for the afternoon
ceremony. After all students and their guests are seated, the remaining
seats will be available to the public. Shuttle buses also will stop
at various locations on campus, including Assembly Hall, from 9 a.m.
to 6 p.m.
All students who have earned bachelor's, master's, doctoral and professional
degrees and advanced certificates during the preceding year are honored
at the campus's annual commencement.
Angelou is well known for addressing issues of race and class in her
poetry and books. She is best known for her autobiography "I Know
Why the Caged Bird Sings" (1970) and her poetry collections "I
Shall Not Be Moved" (1990) and "Phenomenal Woman: Four Poems
For Women" (1995). She was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize in 1972
for poetry, for "Just Give Me a Cool Drink of Water Fore
I Diiie." The St. Louis native became only the second poet to recite
an original work at a presidential inauguration. Angelou read "On
the Pulse of Morning" at Bill Clinton's 1993 inauguration.
Angelou, 74, is also a playwright, director and actress. In 1973, she
performed in the play "Look Away," for which she was nominated
for a Tony Award. She received a 1977 Emmy nomination for her portrayal
of grandmother Nyo Boto in Alex Haleys "Roots" mini-series.
The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences presented her with
a spoken-word Grammy for "Phenomenal Woman" in 1995. A member
of the Director's Guild of America, Angelou also has produced six plays,
including "And Still I Rise" (1976) for the Oakland Ensemble
Angelou's civil activism extends beyond her writings and performances.
The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. appointed her northern coordinator for
the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1959. She served
as an ambassador for UNICEF International in 1996. She is a member of
several service committees including the W.E.B. Du Bois Foundation in
Massachusetts. In 1981, she was appointed to a lifetime position as
the first Reynolds Professor of American Studies at Wake Forest University.
Angelou will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.
Also scheduled to join Angelou in receiving honorary degrees:
Peter Doherty, chairman of the immunology department at St. Jude Children's
Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., will receive a doctor of science
degree. Doherty shared the 1996 Nobel Prize for medicine after helping
discover a fundamental characteristic of T cell immune responses. He
has continued his research during the last three decades, becoming an
international leader on the immunobiology of viral infections.
Sheldon Hackney, a former University of Pennsylvania president, will
receive an doctor of letters degree for his leadership in higher education
and public service. Hackney is a historian of the American South, distinguished
research university leader and former chairman of the National Endowment
for the Humanities. He directed the University of Pennsylvanias
restructuring process in the 1980s, establishing a more national and
international base. He also increased the university's minority enrollment,
research sponsorship and endowments. Hackney has served on numerous
boards and organizations ranging from the Rockefeller Commission on
the Humanities to the Consortium on Financing Higher Education. Hackney
is a history professor at Penn.
Agnes Gund, the president of The Museum of Modern Art in New York, will
receive a doctor of arts degree. A 25-year veteran of the arts, Gund
is best known for her philanthropy and as founder of Studio in a School,
a program that employs young artists to teach art to New York public
school children. Former President Clinton awarded Gund the National
Medal of Arts in 1997 for her efforts to make art accessible to everyone.
Stanley O. Ikenberry, who will receive a doctor of university administration
degree, is a University of Illinois Regent Professor and president emeritus.
During his tenure as president from 1979 to 1995, Ikenberry consolidated
the Chicago Circle and Medical Center campuses into the University of
Illinois at Chicago, added the Springfield campus and established state-of-the-art
facilities such as the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology,
and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. He served as
president of the American Council on Education, the nations principal
higher education association, and led the development and passage of
the Clinton administrations Hope Scholarship and Lifetime Learning
The UI Alumni Association will present three Alumni Achievement Awards
at the commencement ceremonies. Receiving the awards:
Jerry Hadley, a Grammy Award-winning opera singer, is widely recognized
as the paramount American tenor of his generation. As a popular leading
man, Hadley is renowned for his interpretations of a vast cross-section
of the operatic repertoire, as well as for his ventures into Broadway,
operetta and popular music. His musical collaborators have ranged from
Leonard Bernstein and James Levine to Paul McCartney and Stephen Sondheim.
He earned a masters of music degree from the University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign School of Music in 1977.
Sophie Lau Leung is the director of several large textile conglomerates,
including Bay Apparel Ltd., and serves on the Legislative Council of
Hong Kong. As chair of the Womens Commission, she promotes the
interests of women in Hong Kong and the strengthening of linkages with
women's organizations overseas. She also is widely recognized for her
contributions to the development and implementation of the Hong Kong
health-care system. Leung is the founder and chair of the Young Entrepreneurs
Development Council, which cultivates entrepreneurial and leadership
qualities in young people. She received a bachelor's degree in mathematics
in 1969 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Steven L. Miller is
chairman, president and chief executive officer of Houston's Shell Oil
Co., one of America's major oil and natural gas producers and petrochemical
manufacturers. Most recently, he was managing director of Royal Dutch
Petroleum Co. and group managing director of the Royal Dutch Shell Group
of companies. Miller also serves on the board of directors for Applied
Materials Inc., a leading global supplier to the semiconductor industry.
He is a member of the Texas Governor's Business Council, chairman of
the Greater Houston Partnership, a trustee of Rice University and a
director of the Baker Institute for Public Policy, and chairman-elect
of the United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast. He received a degree in chemical
engineering in 1967 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Howard C. Humphrey, a 1959 Commerce and Business Administration graduate
and retired chairman of the Franklin Life Insurance Co., will receive
the Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award for his longtime
commitment to Illinois through volunteer and philanthropic efforts.
He has sponsored seminars on behalf of the university to assist foreign
insurance professionals, supported the master of business administration
program, raised funds for athletic scholarships, and provided corporate
underwriting for WILL. In 1983 he was an executive-in-residence for
the College of Commerce and Business Administration and is a frequent
guest speaker on its behalf.
Among other planned activities in honor of the graduating class, the
Illinois Symphonic Band will give a free concert for graduates, candidates
and their guests at 8 p.m. May 11 in the Great Hall of the Krannert
Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Goodwin Ave., Urbana. Tickets
are not required.
All graduating students and their guests are invited to a reception
hosted by university President James J. Stukel and Nancy Cantor, chancellor
of the Urbana campus, from 8 to 9:30 a.m. May 12 in the gardens of the
presidents house, 711 W. Florida Ave., Urbana. Academic attire
Many individual UI units have scheduled additional commencement ceremonies.
All take place on May 12, except as noted:
Consumer and Environmental Sciences for undergraduate degrees,
9:30 a.m., Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts; for
graduate degrees, 10 a.m., Recital Hall, Smith Memorial Hall, 805 S.
Mathews Ave., Urbana.
Applied Life Studies 9:30 a.m., May 11, Assembly Hall.
Commerce and Business Administration departments of accountancy,
business administration, economics and finance, 1:30 p.m., May 11, Assembly
Hall; MBAs and Executive MBAs, 9 a.m., May 11, Great Hall, Krannert
Center for the Performing Arts.
Communications 2 p.m., Foellinger Auditorium, 709 S. Mathews
Education 10 a.m., 100 George Huff Hall, 1206 S. Fourth St.,
Engineering 4:30 p.m., Assembly Hall.
Law 12:30 p.m., May 11, Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing
Veterinary Medicine 1:30 p.m., Great Hall, Krannert Center for
the Performing Arts.
10 a.m., Foellinger Auditorium.
Art and Design 10 a.m., Tryon Festival Theater, Krannert Center
for the Performing Arts.
Graduate School of Library and Information Science 1:30 p.m.,
Recital Hall, Smith Memorial Hall.
Life Sciences 1:30 p.m., 100 George Huff Hall.
Music 5:30 p.m., Recital Hall, Smith Memorial Hall.
Social Work 4 p.m., Illini Rooms, Illini Union, 1401 W. Green
1:30 p.m., 100 Noyes Laboratory, 505 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana.
Chemistry 1:30 p.m., Tryon Festival Theatre, Krannert Center for
the Performing Arts.
Economics (LAS) and Finance (LAS) 11 a.m., May 11, Foellinger
Humanities I 1:30 p.m., May 11, Foellinger Auditorium.
Humanities II 4 p.m., May 11, Foellinger Auditorium.
Landscape Architecture 10:30 a.m., Sunken Garden, Allerton Park,
Route 2, Monticello; in case of rain, Miller School Gymnasium, 100 W.
Jefferson St., Monticello.
Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (LAS) 4 p.m., Tryon
Festival Theater, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
Physics and Astronomy 2 p.m., May 11, 151 Loomis Laboratory of
Physics, 1110 W. Green St., Urbana.
Psychology 4:30 p.m., Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing
Social Sciences 4 p.m., May 11, Great Hall, Krannert Center for
the Performing Arts.
Theater 10 a.m., Colwell Playhouse, Krannert Center for the Performing
Urban and Regional Planning 10 a.m., Levis Faculty Center, 919
W. Illinois St., Urbana.
2 p.m., Illini Union Ballroom, Second Floor.
Labor and Industrial Relations 3 p.m., May 11, 141 Wohlers Hall,
1206 S. Sixth St., Champaign.
Cultural Program 6:30 p.m., May 11, 100 George Huff Hall.
International Master of Science Programs 4 p.m., May 11, Smith
La Casa Cultural Latina 7 p.m., May 11, Foellinger Auditorium.
Phi Beta Kappa
7:30 p.m., May 10, Illini Union Ballroo
ROTC Commissioning Ceremony 1 p.m., May 13, Foellinger Auditorium.