April 29, 2009
Commencement ceremonies set for May 7-10
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s commencement exercises are set for May 7-10.
There are 2,853 candidates for bachelor’s degrees, 422 candidates for master’s degrees, 38 doctoral degree candidates, 104 law degree candidates, and 19 candidates for associate degrees.
Commencement ceremonies are open to the public, and tickets are not required.
Barbara Lesar, a longtime supporter of the University, will receive a Distinguished Service Award during commencement ceremonies for the SIU School of Law.
Lesar’s tireless contributions and work throughout the University community are well known. She participated in many University events when her first husband, the late Dr. Richard Thomas, was a faculty member. After he passed away, Lesar later married the School of Law’s founding dean, Hiram H. Lesar, and her involvement with SIUC continued to grow.
Lesar, who is 90, is an active member of the law school’s Board of Visitors, and she attends every law school event. She is co-chair of the law school’s fund-raising committees working to endow a professorship in her late husband’s honor. She serves on the Friends of WSIU Advisory Board, where she served as its president, and also on the Morris Library Board of Visitors from September 1997 until January 2006.
She is also a faithful contributor to many units on campus, including Intercollegiate Athletics, the College of Applied Sciences and Arts, the College of Education and Human Services, the SIU Foundation, the SIU School of Law, the College of Liberal Arts, the Dorothy Morris Garden, Morris Library, University Museum, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, Student Affairs, and WSIU Public Broadcasting.
Commencement speakers include the immediate past president of the oldest and largest national association of predominately African American lawyers and judges; the vice provost for academic services at The Johns Hopkins University; the president and CEO of an oil and gas exploration and production company; and an alumnus with more than three decades in foreign service. In most instances the commencement speakers provided their own biographies.
Eight alumni will receive Alumni Achievement Awards as part of individual college and school ceremonies. The award is the highest honor presented by the SIU Alumni Association.
Thursday, May 7
School of Law, 4:30 p.m., Shryock Auditorium.
Vanita M. Banks, immediate past president of the National Bar Association -- the oldest and largest national association of predominately African American lawyers and judges -- will give the address, and Williamson County Public Defender Alexander M. Fine will receive the Alumni Achievement Award.
Banks is an attorney with Allstate Insurance Co., specializing in complex insurance, employment and class action law and litigation. The National Bar Association represents more than 45,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students. She is the second female attorney from corporate America, and the ninth female since the organization’s founding in 1925 elected NBA president. In May 2008, Banks led a delegation of 60 attorneys, judges and law professors to Havana and Trinidad, Cuba, on a humanitarian mission to promote civil society and build bridges of cooperation and personal affiliation.
She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Purdue University, her law degree from Valparaiso University School of Law, and a master of laws degree in taxation from DePaul College of Law.
Fine, a native of Carterville, earned his law degree from the SIU School of Law in 1983. He earned a bachelor’s degree in administration of justice from SIUC in 1978 and did post-graduate work before attending law school.
Fine started his legal career as an assistant state’s attorney in Williamson County from 1983 to 1987. He worked for well-known plaintiff’s attorney and former judge Brocton Lockwood from 1987 to 1989, before becoming a public defender in Williamson County in 1989. Fine is certified to represent clients in death penalty cases, and successfully defended clients in all classification of cases ranging from homicide, Class X through Class IV felonies, and misdemeanors, including driving under the influence and traffic-related cases.
Graduate School -- Doctoral candidates, 7 p.m., Shryock Auditorium.
Traditionally, there is no guest speaker for the program. Mahmud Khan, Department of Physics, will receive the 2008 Richard and Donna Falvo Outstanding Dissertation Award. Gabriel Johnson is the recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Thesis Award presented by the SIU Alumni Association.
Friday, May 8
Graduate School -- Master’s candidates, 10 a.m., SIU Arena.
Traditionally, there is no guest speaker for the program. Master’s degree candidates from the various colleges will receive their degrees.
College of Education and Human Services, 1:30 p.m., Shryock Auditorium.
Ceremonies for majors in athletic training, exercise science, physical education teaching, communication disorders and sciences, rehabilitation services, social work, and workforce education and development.
Edgar E. Roulhac, vice provost for academic services at The Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore since 1993, will give the address for both COEHS commencement ceremonies, and receive the Alumni Achievement Award.
Roulhac has served in numerous positions since coming to The Johns Hopkins University in 1978 as assistant dean and assistant professor in the School of Public Health. He has more than 20 years of senior administrative leadership as a principal administrative officer, and is the highest-ever ranking African American academic central administrator at Johns Hopkins. He has developed and managed operating budgets from $250,000 to $120 million. From 1986 to 1993, Roulhac served as assistant provost and founding director of the university’s Montgomery County Center Campus and Washington, D.C., Center. Roulhac also served as the university’s interim vice president for human resources in 1994-1995.
A three-degree SIUC graduate, Roulhac earned his bachelor’s degree in biological science and health education in 1969; a master’s of science in community health education in 1970; and a doctoral degree in higher education administration and health education in 1974. Roulhac was an instructor and coordinator in the SIU School of Medicine’s Department of Health Care Planning in 1972-73, and an assistant professor and coordinator in the department in 1973-74. He was assistant professor in the School of Health Science at Towson State University from 1975 to 1978.
A recipient of numerous honors, awards and citations, Roulhac was the commencement speaker for SIUC’s College of Education in 1989.
College of Education and Human Services, 4 p.m., Shryock Auditorium.
Ceremonies for majors in art, biological sciences, early childhood education, elementary education, English, French, German, history, mathematics, Spanish, special education, health education, and recreation.
College of Business, 7 p.m., SIU Arena.
Rick E. Winningham, chief executive officer of Theravance, Inc., in South San Francisco, will give the address and receive the Alumni Achievement Award.
Winningham earned a bachelor's degree in finance from SIUC in 1981 and a master's of business administration from Texas Christian University. Theravance Inc. is a public biopharmaceutical company. Winningham joined the company in 2001 after a 15-year career with Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he held various U.S. and global management positions.
Winningham, who graduated from Arthur High School, is a 2006 inductee in the College of Business Hall of Fame, and is a member of the college’s external advisory board.
Saturday, May 9
College of Science, 8:30 a.m., Shryock Auditorium
James D. Lightner, president and CEO of Orion Energy Partners, in Denver, will give the address and receive the Alumni Achievement Award.
Orion Energy Partners is an oil and gas exploration and production company. In May 2008, Lightner became the non-executive chairman of the board for Denver-based Forest Oil Corp. He held several other oil and energy-related positions, including director, chairman, CEO and president of Tom Brown, Inc.
Lightner earned his bachelor’s degree in geology from SIUC in 1974. He earned a Fulbright Fellowship, which allowed him to earn a master’s degree in Australia.
In 2008, Lighter gave a $100,000 matching gift to the University to establish an endowment to ensure a six-week summer field geology course.
College of Engineering, 8:30 a.m., SIU Arena
Slade O’Keefe, vice president of engineering and construction with Bluff City Materials, Inc., of Bartlett, will give the address and receive the Alumni Achievement Award.
O’Keefe earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from SIUC in 1991. He started with Abbott Contractors in 1991 as a project estimator, later becoming a project engineer and senior project estimator. In 1997, O’Keefe, who lives in Naperville, moved to Bluff City Materials, where he became the engineering manager in charge of engineering, planning and budgets in the company’s aggregate mining and real estate development division.
O’Keefe also holds a master’s degree in project management from Keller Graduate School of Management. He has served as president and treasurer of the Chicago chapter of the Irish Engineering and Contractors Association.
College of Agricultural Sciences, 11 a.m., Shryock Auditorium.
Gregory W. Webb, vice president of state government relations with Archer Daniels Midland Co. will give the address and receive the Alumni Achievement Award.
Webb earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture economics from SIUC in 1979, and has been with Decatur-based ADM since 1986. Initially working in the oilseed processing business throughout North America, Webb became the company’s North American trade representative for grain and oilseeds in 2002.
In his current position, Webb is responsible for working with business and producer organizations. He is a board member on the American Council of Agriculture, the North American Export Grain Association, and the Illinois Biotechnology Industry Organization. Webb is chairman of the National Oilseed Processors Association.
College of Mass Communication and Media Arts, 1:30 p.m., Shryock Auditorium.
Leonard J. Baldyga, who served more than three decades in foreign service in Washington, D.C., and overseas, will give the address and receive the Alumni Achievement Award.
Baldyga is a senior consultant for central and east European programs at the International Research and Exchanges Board -- a consortium of nearly 150 American universities and colleges. Among its services, the organization provides field research opportunities for American specialists and analysts.
A 1959 graduate in communications from SIUC, Baldyga is a former director of the Office of European Affairs at the U.S. Information Agency. Among his assignments during his foreign service was as the agency’s principal negotiator of bilateral cultural and scientific agreements with the Soviet Bloc between 1979 and 1983. He holds a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University.
Prior to entering foreign service in 1962, Baldyga worked in journalism and publishing as a financial writer, city editor, and assistant to the publisher, with numerous overseas assignments. Baldyga is on the board of directors of the Sabre Foundation, Partners for Democratic Change, and the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences. He is also a member of the executive committee of the National Polish-American-Jewish American Council. Baldyga’s wife, Joyce Brinkley Baldyga, earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from SIUC in 1959.
College of Applied Sciences and Arts, 2 p.m., SIU Arena
Ceremonies for majors in architectural studies, fashion design and merchandising, interior design, automotive technology, aviation technologies, aviation management, and aviation flight.
Camelle Wilson Logan, executive vice president of CORE Education and Consulting Services in Roswell, Ga., will give the address for both CASA commencement ceremonies, and receive the Alumni Achievement Award.
Logan earned a bachelor’s degree in advanced technical studies in 1989 from the University’s School of Information Systems and Applied Technologies. She subsequently earned an MBA at the University of Phoenix, and founded KC Management Group in 2002, and served as president and CEO. CORE acquired the company in 2007, and helps clients across the nation implement large-scale adaptive and original technology solutions for large urban school districts, state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and companies in the transportation and utilities industries.
In 2007, Logan donated $25,000 to establish the Camelle Wilson Logan and Sonia Veronica Phelix Rowell Scholarship. The scholarship goes to a student in the Information Systems and Applied Technologies program who illustrates entrepreneurial skills and business acumen and interest. The scholarship honors Logan’s lifelong friend, Sonia, who also graduated from SIUC in 1989 with a communications degree from SIUC, and who died in an automobile accident about seven years ago.
College of Applied Sciences and Arts, 5:30 p.m., SIU Arena.
Ceremonies for majors in dental hygiene, health care management, mortuary science and funeral services, radiologic sciences, physical therapist assistant, electronic systems technologies, fire service management, information systems technologies, and technical resource management.
Sunday, May 10
College of Liberal Arts, 1:30 p.m., SIU Arena.
Ceremonies for majors in administration of justice, anthropology, art and design, economics, English, foreign languages and literature, geography and environmental resources, history, linguistics, mathematics and music.
College of Liberal Arts, 5 p.m., SIU Arena
Ceremonies for majors in paralegal studies, philosophy, political science, psychology, sociology, speech communications, theater, and University studies.