Baylor University Celebrates Spring Commencement

May 9, 2007

Baylor University will celebrate its annual commencement with a weekend of events Friday, May 11, and Saturday, May 12. More than 1,700 students will participate in commencement exercises, which have taken place annually since 1854. To date, Baylor has produced more than 135,000 graduates.

Commencement for graduates of Baylor's George W. Truett Theological Seminary will take place at 6 p.m. Friday, May 11.

Doctoral candidates, their spouses, the chair of their departments and mentors are invited to dinner hosted by the Graduate School. The dinner will take place 7:30 p.m. Friday in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center. Reservations are required.

Commencement exercises will take place at the Ferrell Center in two ceremonies on Saturday, May 12. The 9:30 a.m. ceremony will honor graduates from the College of Arts and Sciences as well as masters and doctoral candidates from the College. The Bearer of the Mace will be Dr. Elmer H. Duncan, professor emeritus of philosophy. In both ceremonies, Jim L. Turner, chairman of the board of regents, will bring greetings, and President John M. Lilley will deliver a message to the graduates.

During the ceremonies, the George W. Truett Distinguished Church Service Award will be presented to two prominent Baptist leaders. The recipients are Bill Sherman, president of the Tennessee Baptist Convention, and Joy Phillips Fenner, former executive director of Woman's Missionary Union of Texas and current first vice president of the Baptist General Convention of Texas. Sherman will receive his award at the 9:30 a.m. service, and Fenner will receive the honor during the 2:30 p.m. ceremony.

The Cornelia Marschall Smith Professor of the Year Award will be presented to Dr. Ann E. Rushing, professor and associate chair of the department of biology. This award is presented annually to a faculty member who makes a superlative contribution to the learning environment at Baylor, based on teaching, research and service.

Outstanding professor awards for 2006-2007 will be presented to the following faculty during the morning exercises: Dr. Bryan W. Brooks, assistant professor of environmental studies; Dr. Joel S. Burnett, assistant professor of religion; Jeremy Counseller, assistant professor in the law school; Billie R. Peterson-Lugo, assistant director of electronic library resources; and Dr. John E. Thorburn Jr., associate professor of classics.

The 2:30 p.m. ceremony will honor graduates from the Hankamer School of Business and the Schools of Education, Engineering and Computer Science, Social Work, Music, The Louise Herrington School of Nursing and masters and doctoral candidates from the respective schools.

The Bearer of the Mace will be Dr. Donald R. Edwards, professor emeritus of management.

Outstanding faculty honored at this ceremony will be Dr. Dorothy E. Leidner, professor of information systems; Dr. Byron P. Newberry, associate professor of mechanical engineering; Dr. J. Wesley Null, associate professor of curriculum and foundations of education in the School of Education and the Honors College; Dr. Kathryn Schmidt Steely, associate professor of instrumental studies; and J. Brian Thomas, lecturer in electrical and computer engineering.

The Collins Outstanding Professor Award will be presented to Martha C. Agee, senior lecturer in business law. This award honors outstanding teachers at Baylor. Recipients are chosen annually by a senior class vote and deliver an open lecture on campus.

After each commencement exercise, the Baylor Alumni Association will hold a reception for new graduates. The reception will be located directly outside the Ferrell Center and will offer refreshments, photo opportunities and a chance to register for Alumni Association membership.

On Saturday at 6 p.m. in Barfield Drawing Room, 23 Baylor Air Force ROTC cadets will be commissioned to the rank of second lieutenant. The cadets are among 31 graduates--the largest class commissioned by the Baylor program in 48 years--who will make the transition from ROTC cadet to an Air Force officer. Baylor's AFROTC Detachment 810 is eighth nationally out of 144 programs in the production of second lieutenants.

Col. Richard M. Clark, commander of the 12th Flying Training Wing at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas, will serve as guest speaker.

For more information about the commencement exercises, visit the website at or contact Lois Ferguson at (254) 710-8534.

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