May 11, 2012

Media Advisory -- Commencement

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover graduation ceremonies at Southern Illinois University Carbondale on Saturday, May 12.  Almost 3,500 professional, graduate and undergraduate students are candidates for spring 2012 degrees.  Some candidates for graduation in August will also participate in the ceremonies.

Three separate commencement ceremonies will be held at the SIU Arena for both undergraduate and graduate students.  Commencement ceremonies are open to the public and tickets are not required.

Retired U.S. Navy Captain Mark Kelly, who served as commander of the space shuttle Endeavour on its final mission last year, will be the keynote speaker for each of the three commencement ceremonies.  A combat naval aviator during the Gulf War, Kelly was selected as an astronaut in 1996.  He flew four shuttle missions in his career, and is one of only two individuals to visit the International Space Station on four different occasions.

Kelly is married to former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who continues her recovery from a January 2011 assassination attempt.

One individual will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters, two people are receiving Distinguished Service Awards, and five alumni will receive Alumni Achievement Awards during their respective college or school ceremony.  The award is the highest honor presented by the SIU Alumni Association.  Not all colleges are having alumni achievement award recipients this year.

The commencement schedule is:

         9 a.m. -- College of Liberal Arts and College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.        

Deidre McCloskey will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters. She is the Distinguished Professor of Economics, History, English and Communication at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a professor of economic history at Gothenburg University in Sweden. 

Edward T. Collins, vice president and assistant general counsel for The Allstate Corp., is a two degree SIU Carbondale graduate, and will receive his Alumni Achievement honor from the College of Liberal Arts.  He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and a law degree from the SIU School of Law, and lives in Gurnee.

         1:30 p.m. -- College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Applied Sciences and Arts, College of Engineering and College of Science.

Sam Robb, a retired, longtime vocational agriculture teacher at Pinckneyville Community High School, is a two-degree SIU Carbondale graduate and will receive the Alumni Achievement award from the College of Agricultural Sciences.  He lives in Pinckneyville.

Lee H. Raines, director and division head of automotive service for American Suzuki Motor Corp., will receive his Alumni Achievement honor from the College of Applied Sciences and Arts.  Raines earned his associate degree in automotive technology and a bachelor’s degree in advanced technical studies.  He lives in Acworth, Ga.

Thomas J. Murray, a retired executive vice president and owner of Chicago-based Sargent & Lundy, LLC., will receive his Alumni Achievement honor from the College of Engineering.  Murray earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering technology, and lives in Lisle.

         5:30 p.m. -- College of Business, College of Education and Human Services, and the SIU School of Law.

Brocton D. Lockwood, nominated by the SIU School of Law, will receive a Distinguished Service Award.  A longtime attorney and retired judge, Lockwood is a native of rural Murphysboro. As an associate judge in the First Judicial Circuit between 1978 and 1983, part of Lockwood’s duties included assisting with the backlog of cases in Cook County by serving in their traffic court.  Frustrated by the apparent corruption he witnessed within the judiciary there, Lockwood volunteered to serve as an undercover investigator for the FBI’s Operation Greylord.  After spending more than a decade in private practice, he returned to the bench as associate judge from 2000 to 2006, working in Saline County.  He lives near Harrisburg.

Larry D. Bailey, nominated by the College of Business, will receive a Distinguished Service Award. A businessman and consultant, Bailey, who lives in Washington, D.C., earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting from SIU Carbondale. He is a licensed CPA and is a former partner with two international public accounting firms, in addition to being a former Internal Revenue Service agent.  Bailey completed his MBA with a concentration in finance at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School.

A College of Business inductee into its Hall of Fame, Bailey is one of the founders of SIU Carbondale’s accounting registered student organization, Blacks Interested in Business (BIB), and received a BIB Leadership Award.

Hazel Loucks, who served as Illinois’ Deputy Governor for Education and Workforce from January 1999 to January 2003, will receive her Alumni Achievement honor from the College of Education and Human Services.  She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. An assistant professor at SIU Carbondale from 1989 to 1994, Loucks is currently an associate professor at McKendree University, teaching education master’s- and doctoral-level courses.