Baylor University Holds Spring 2014 Commencement Ceremonies May 16-17

Courtesy of Baylor Photography.
May 14, 2014

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Media contact: Lori Fogleman, (254) 710-6275

WACO, Texas (May 14, 2014) - The closing of each semester at Baylor University also marks the completion of a degree for many Baylor students. Graduating students will walk across the stage and shake the hand of President and Chancellor Ken Starr during Spring Commencement ceremonies May 16 and 17 in Baylor’s Ferrell Center.

Graduates earning degrees from the School of Engineering and Computer Science, Louise Herrington School of Nursing, College of Arts & Sciences, some military degrees and all related graduate degrees will receive their diplomas at 2:30 p.m. Friday, May 16. Students from George W. Truett Theological Seminary graduate at 6 p.m. Friday at First Baptist Church of Waco.

Graduates earning degrees from the Honors College, School of Music, School of Social Work, College of Arts & Sciences and all related graduate degrees will participate in a ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 17. Students earning degrees from the Hankamer School of Business, School of Education, additional military degrees and all related graduate degrees will graduate at 2:30 p.m. Saturday.

At each ceremony, one emeritus professor will be honored as Bearer of the Mace and lead the graduates in the processional. On Friday, David Eldridge, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Biology, will be Bearer of the Mace. During the Saturday morning ceremony, Joyce Jones, D.M.A., Professor Emeritus of Organ in the School of Music, has the honor, while Helen Miller, retired senior lecturer of accounting in the Hankamer School of Business, will bear the Mace during the Saturday afternoon ceremony.

The Mace, a symbol of authority used in all commencement exercises, is comprised of a golden sword linked with two walking canes once belonging to former Baylor President Rufus C. Burleson and Gen. Sam Houston. The sword was presented to Cyrus Baylor by President Andrew Jackson for his bravery in the War of 1812.

Invocations at the ceremony will be given by Suellen Husak, triage nurse and technology coordinator at the Baylor Health Center, Friday afternoon; Shannon Johansen, administrative associate for the Robbins MBA Healthcare Administration Program, Saturday morning; and Sandra Harman, assistant to the Associate Dean of Baylor Graduate School, Saturday afternoon.

Closing benedictions will be given by Jimmy Seibert, founder and senior pastor of Antioch Community Church in Waco, Friday afternoon; Shetigho Agbuke, head pastor of Redeemer’s Praise in San Antonio, Saturday morning; and Ben Leslie, Th.D., provost and senior vice president at Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina, Saturday afternoon.

Starr also will recognize this year’s Collins Outstanding Professor Award recipient Paul La Bounty, Ph.D., associate professor of health, human performance and recreation in Baylor’s School of Education. Nine other faculty who received Outstanding Professor recognition will be recognized at various ceremonies:


• Larry T. Bates, professor of law at Baylor Law School

• David Bridge, Ph.D., assistant professor of political science in the College of Arts & Sciences

• Lynn W. Tatum, Ph.D., senior lecturer of the Baylor Interdisciplinary Core in the Honors College

• J. Eric Wilson, D.M.A., associate professor and director of bands in the School of Music


• Isabelle Demers, D.M.A., assistant professor of organ in the School of Music

• Ryan S. King, Ph.D., associate professor and director of the graduate program in the department of biology in the College of Arts & Sciences

• W. Dennis Tucker, Ph.D., associate dean and associate professor at Truett Seminary

Contributions to the Academic Community

• James W. Ellor, Ph.D., professor in the School of Social Work

• R. Michael Rogers, professor of law at Baylor School of Law

The Ferrell Center is located at 1900 S. University Parks Dr., on the corner of South University Parks Drive and LaSalle Ave. The parking lot is accessible from both streets. Click here for a map of Baylor’s campus.

Parking for handicap or physically impaired individuals is accessible from the Daughtrey Avenue entrance off University Parks Drive, and a circular drive located at the main entrance to the Ferrell Center is available for those people wishing to drop off guests.

Guests also have the option to park in the East Campus Garage at 246 Daughtrey Ave. Baylor DPS officers and parking assistants will direct guests to the garage, where a free shuttle service to Ferrell Center will be provided.

The Ferrell Center will open 90 minutes prior to each ceremony. Though Baylor will not count guests, require tickets or have reserved seating, space is limited and graduates are asked to limit guests to 10.

Sign interpretation for hearing-impaired guests will be available at the Friday afternoon and Saturday morning ceremonies. Students with guests in need of interpretation should email Lois Ferguson as soon as possible to reserve seating near the interpreter.

Baylor also will provide live streaming of the ceremonies here for those unable to attend.

Graduates should be at the Ferrell Center no later than one hour before the start of their ceremony and should bring their cap, gown, hood or other regalia with them. Caps and gown for all students and hoods for master’s students may be purchased in the Baylor Bookstore.

For any questions regarding the Spring 2014 Commencement ceremonies, contact Lois Ferguson, manager of commencement and facilities planning.

by Rachel Miller, student newswriter, (254) 710-6805


Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, characterized as having “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions. Baylor sponsors 19 varsity athletic teams and is a founding member of the Big 12 Conference.

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