Baylor University Expands Commencement With Friday and Saturday Ceremonies

May 15, 2009

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Baylor University will confer degrees upon nearly 1,900 graduates during spring commencement exercises Friday and Saturday on the Baylor campus.

Friday's ceremony - a new addition this year - will be held at 3 p.m. in the Ferrell Center for graduates of the School of Engineering and Computer Science, Louise Herrington School of Nursing, College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School.

Two ceremonies will be held on Saturday in the Ferrell Center: 9:30 a.m. for graduates of the School of Social Work, School of Music, College of Arts and Sciences and the Graduate School, and 2:30 p.m. for graduates of the Hankamer School of Business, School of Education and the Graduate School.

Baylor will provide live streaming of all three ceremonies, so families and friends of graduates who are unable to travel to Waco can watch their graduate receive their diploma. Links to the live stream will be available 15 minutes prior to the start of each ceremony at: http://www.baylor.edu/commencement/index.php?id=63725.

"At the request of families, we are making changes to help increase the efficiencies of our commencement ceremonies," said Baylor Interim President David Garland, who also serves as dean of Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary. "The commencement ceremonies we will celebrate this weekend represent the culmination of years of hard work by our students, as well as years of dedicated teaching, coaching and encouragement by our faculty and staff."

Truett Seminary also will confer degrees upon 55 graduates during its commencement ceremony at 6 p.m. Friday in the seminary's Paul W. Powell Chapel. Bearer of the Mace will be Dr. Bruce C. Cresson, professor emeritus of religion at Baylor. The message to the graduates will be given by Dr. Randel Everett, executive director of the Baptist General Convention of Texas.

Dr. Garland will preside over the commencement ceremonies. Dr. Howard K. Batson, chair of the Baylor Board of Regents, will bring greetings at the Friday and Saturday morning ceremonies. Donell Teaff, vice chair of the Board of Regents, will bring greetings at the Saturday afternoon ceremony.

Bearer of the Mace honors will go to three retired Baylor faculty members: Dr. Ken-Hsi Wang, professor emeritus of physics; Dr. Michael W. Mansfield, professor emeritus of political science; and Dr. Delton L. Chesser, professor emeritus of accounting.

In addition to the conferral of degrees upon students, the ceremonies will honor Outstanding Professors for 2008-2009:

Teaching: Tamarah L. Adair, senior lecturer in biology; B. Michael Long, professor of Russian; James M. Underwood, associate professor of law; Brett R. Wilkinson, associate professor of accounting and The Roderick L. Holmes Chair of Accountancy; and J. Lenore Wright, associate professor of philosophy.

Scholarship: Dawn S. Carlson, associate professor of management; Perry L. Glanzer, associate professor of teacher education; Scott McAllister, professor of composition; Rory Ryan, associate professor of law; and Anzhong Wang, professor of physics.

Contributions to the Academic Community: Susan K. Johnsen, professor of educational psychology.

Also recognized will be the Collins Outstanding Professor for 2008-2009, Dr. David W. Eldridge, professor of biology, who was selected by the senior class as this year's recipient.

The Baylor Alumni Association will present the George W. Truett Distinguished Church Service Awards during the Saturday afternoon ceremony to Dr. William Hinson, a 1953 Baylor graduate and vice chair of the Haggai Institute, an international ministry founded in 1969 to train Christians worldwide for leadership and evangelism. The award also will be presented to Walker Knight of Decatur, Ga., although he will be unable to attend the ceremony. A1949 Baylor graduate, Knight is the founding editor of Baptists Today, former editor of Home Missions magazine and former associate editor of the Baptist Standard.

The annual award is given to individuals who embody the meaning of Baylor's official motto, "Pro Ecclesia, Pro Texana" (For Church, For State) and who exemplify the life and career of the great pastor and Baptist statesman, the late George W. Truett.

Baylor's summer commencement is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 15. Winter commencement will be held Saturday, Dec. 19.

For more information about Baylor commencement, go to http://www.baylor.edu/commencement.

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