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132nd commencement May 18 features Pulitzer Prize-winning speaker

Greg Jaeger, News Bureau
(217) 333-1085;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The 132nd commencement of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign will be held in two ceremonies May 18 at the Assembly Hall, 1800 S. First St., Champaign.

The speaker at both ceremonies will be Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Barry Bearak. An alumnus, Bearak writes for The New York Times Sunday magazine. He and five 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.

Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. for the morning ceremony and at 1 p.m. 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 annual commencement.

Bearak’s work was cited by the Pulitzer committee for "his deeply affecting and illuminating coverage of daily life in war-torn Afghanistan" in 2001. Among his other honors are a George Polk Award for foreign reporting, the first prize of the South Asian Journalist Association for outstanding story of the year and the Mike Berger Award, given by Columbia University for reporting about New York City.

Prior to beginning work for the Times in 1996, Bearak worked for 14 years as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times and six years as a reporter for the Miami Herald.

"The sheer number of Mr. Bearak’s prestigious journalism awards attests to his remarkable talent and dedication," said Ron Yates, head of the UI journalism department. "To win just one of these awards would be considered extraordinary by many journalists. To win so many of them is truly recognition of Mr. Bearak’s contributions, not only to journalism, but also to society at large."

In 1980-81, Bearak was named a Fellow by the National Endowment for the Humanities at the University of Michigan, where he conducted research on developmental economics, religion and literature.

While at Illinois, Bearak was the winner of the graduate fiction prize and was a contributor to the Daily Illini. He earned his master’s degree in journalism in 1975. He earned a bachelor’s degree at Knox College in Galesburg, Ill.

He will be awarded an honorary doctor of literature degree.

The others who will receive honorary degrees during the 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. ceremonies:

orange dot Irving Azoff, a concert promoter, personal manager, movie producer, music publisher and chief executive officer of one of the big five record companies, will receive an honorary doctor of music degree. The chairman of the Azoff Music Management Group, Azoff is the personal manager of the Eagles, whose "Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975" is the best-selling album of all time. A native of Danville, Ill., and Illinois alumnus, Azoff produced "Urban Cowboy" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High" and several other films. In 2000, he became co-chairman of Concerts West, a live entertainment promotion company. In 1990, Azoff founded Azoff Entertainment Co., a joint venture with Time Warner. Prior to forming Giant Records, Azoff was the chairman of the MCA Music Entertainment Group. He has been honored by the T.J. Martell Foundation and by the City of Hope – receiving their Humanitarian of the Year award and Spirit of Life Award, respectively.

orange dot Louise Bourgeois, considered "one of the 20th century’s top 25 most influential artists" (ARTNews magazine), will receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree. "There is certainly no living American woman more revered as an artist today than Louise Bourgeois," said Jonathan Fineberg, a professor of art and design at Illinois. "She is in nearly every important museum of modern art in the world and the estimation of her work continues to climb." Her work has been featured in one-person exhibitions at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, the Museum of Modern Art in Paris and at the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia. Now in her 90s, Bourgeois remains active, devoting each day to the practice of art. In 1997, she received a National Medal of Arts from President Bill Clinton.

orange dot Rita R. Colwell, the director of the National Science Foundation, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree. The head of the NSF since 1998, Colwell has led the agency’s emphases on K-12 science and mathematics education, graduate science and engineering education/training and the increased participation of women and minorities in science and engineering. Colwell was the president of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute from 1991-1998. She is the author or co-author of 16 books. "Her broad understanding of biology has been invaluable in helping her to develop a modern biology program at the National Science Foundation, where she has initiated programs on biocomplexity that transcend previous disciplinary limitations and bring a variety of scientists from biology, computer analysis and engineering together," said Abigail Salyers, a professor of microbiology at Illinois.

orange dot Peter Gay, a professor emeritus of history at Yale University, will receive an honorary doctor of letters degree. Gay is "the most distinguished cultural historian of modern Europe, on either side of the Atlantic, and anywhere in the English-speaking world," said David Cannadine, the director of the Institute for Historical Research at the University of London. The director of the Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library, Gay is the author of more than two dozen books. His works "have been hailed repeatedly for their scope, originality, intelligence, and elegance," said Peter Fritzche, the chair of the department of history at Illinois. Gay’s "The Enlightenment: An Interpretation" won a National Book Award in 1967.

orange dot Hermann Zapf, a distinguished typographer and type designer, will receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree. In addition to his type design, Zapf may be the most noted calligrapher of the past 50 years. Several of his most popular type designs, such as Optima, Palatino, Zapf Chancery and Zapf Dingbats are on most home computers. Other Zapf-designed fonts, including Michelangelo and Zapf Renaissance, are commonly used by graphic designers. "His discerning scholarship has set a new standard for excellence in typographic practice, by now having inspired more than five generations of graphic designers," said Ken Carls, the interim director of the School of Art and Design at Illinois.

The UI Alumni Association will present three Alumni Achievement Awards at the commencement ceremonies:

orange dot Robert Badgett Morgan will be honored for his success in the field of music education. He is the retired director of jazz studies at the renowned High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Houston. An accomplished musician and composer, he has inspired knowledge and a deep love for jazz music in his students, as evidenced by the numerous national and international honors garnered by him and by his young pupils. Morgan, known affectionately by his students as "Doc," earned his doctorate of musical arts in composition from Illinois in 1974.

orange dot Paul D. Schrage will be honored for his impressive marketing and advertising achievements within the McDonald’s Corp. Since starting the company’s marketing department in 1967, he has been responsible for creating the golden arch logo and the Ronald McDonald character; introducing a number of fast-food restaurant innovations; garnering several prestigious honors within the advertising profession. He retired in 1997 as senior executive vice president and chief marketing officer and is the chairman of Ronald McDonald House Charities. Schrage earned a master’s degree in advertising from Illinois in 1959.

orange dot Phillip Allen Sharp will be honored for his revolutionary research discoveries in molecular biology and biochemistry. His work has centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing. This discovery, which fundamentally changed scientists’ understanding of the structure of genes, earned him the 1993 Nobel Prize. Sharp is Founding Director and Institute Professor of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He earned his doctorate in chemistry from Illinois in 1969.

Receiving the University of Illinois Distinguished Service Award:

Richard W. and Trudy Gassmann Reynolds will be honored for their commitment and service to the advancement of the University of Illinois. The Rockford couple have served as advocates for the institution over the course of two major capital campaigns, and they actively promote connection to the university among their fellow alumni. Richard Reynolds received his bachelor’s degree in engineering in 1953 and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1958. He has served on boards within the department of general engineering, the College of Engineering and the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics. Trudy Reynolds received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education in 1958. She has served as president of the Library Friends Board, chair of the UI Foundation Presidents Council and a member of the UI Alumni Association Board of Directors. The Reynoldses are both life members of the UI Alumni Association.

Receiving the the University of Illinois Alumni Humanitarian Award:

Penny Panayiota Deligiannis will be honored for her administrative missionary work in the Orthodox Church to assist the people of Albania, as well as Kosovo refugees. As director of Diaconia Agapes ("Service of Love"), the humanitarian arm of the church in Albania’s capital, and the Action by Churches Together Network, she implemented an emergency relief program for Kosovo refugees and host Albanian communities. Other development programs she has directed within the country have focused on agriculture, water and health. She received a bachelor’s degree in 1987 and a master’s degree in 1992, both in speech communication.

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 17 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 18 in the gardens of the president’s house, 711 W. Florida Ave., Urbana. Academic attire is encouraged.

The first floor of the main library will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. May 17 and May 18 for visitors and students to view the University Honors Bronze Tablets.

Many individual UI units have scheduled additional commencement ceremonies. All take place on May 18, except as noted:


orange dot Agricultural, 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.
orange dot Applied Life Studies – 9:30 a.m., May 17, Assembly Hall.
orange dot Commerce and Business Administration – departments of accountancy, business administration, economics and finance, 1:30 p.m., May 17, Assembly Hall; MBAs and Executive MBAs, 9 a.m., May 17, Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
orange dot Communications – 2 p.m., Foellinger Auditorium, 709 S. Mathews Ave., Urbana.
orange dot Education – 10 a.m., 100 George Huff Hall, 1206 S. Fourth St., Champaign.
orange dot Engineering – 4:30 p.m., Assembly Hall.
orange dot Law – 12:30 p.m., May 17, Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
orange dot Veterinary Medicine – 1:30 p.m., Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.


orange dot Architecture – 10 a.m., Foellinger Auditorium.
orange dot Art and Design – 10 a.m., Tryon Festival Theater, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
orange dot Graduate School of Library and Information Science – 1:30 p.m., Recital Hall, Smith Memorial Hall.
orange dot Life Sciences – 1:30 p.m., 100 George Huff Hall.
orange dot Music – 5:30 p.m., Recital Hall, Smith Memorial Hall.
orange dot Social Work – 4 p.m., Illini Rooms, Illini Union, 1401 W. Green St., Urbana.


orange dot Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering – 1:30 p.m., Colwell Playhouse, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
orange dot Chemistry– 1:30 p.m., Tryon Festival Theatre, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
orange dot Economics (LAS) and Finance (LAS) – 10 a.m., May 17, Foellinger Auditorium.
orange dot Humanities I – 12:30 p.m., May 17, Foellinger Auditorium.
orange dot Humanities II – 2:30 p.m., May 17, Foellinger Auditorium.
orange dot Humanities III – 4:30 p.m., May 17, Foellinger Auditorium.
orange dot 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.
orange dot Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science (LAS) – 4 p.m., Tryon Festival Theater, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
orange dot Physics and Astronomy – 2 p.m., May 17, 151 Loomis Laboratory of Physics, 1110 W. Green St., Urbana.
orange dot Psychology – 4:30 p.m., Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
orange dot Social Sciences – 4 p.m., May 17, Great Hall, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
orange dot Theatre – 10 a.m., Colwell Playhouse, Krannert Center for the Performing Arts.
orange dot Urban and Regional Planning – 10 a.m., Levis Faculty Center, 919 W. Illinois St., Urbana.


orange dot Aviation – 2 p.m., Illini Union Ballroom, Second Floor.
orange dot Labor and Industrial Relations – 3 p.m., May 17, 141 Wohlers Hall, 1206 S. Sixth St., Champaign.


orange dot African-American Cultural Program – 6:30 p.m., May 17, 100 George Huff Hall.
orange dot La Casa Cultural Latina – 7 p.m., May 17, Foellinger Auditorium.


orange dot Phi Beta Kappa – 7:30 p.m., May 16, Illini Union Ballroom


orange dot All-Service ROTC Commissioning Ceremony – 11 a.m., May 19, Foellinger Auditorium.