May 06, 2013

Spring commencement ceremonies set for May 11

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s commencement ceremonies are set for Saturday, May 11.

In addition, the inaugural “Forever SIU: A Commencement Celebration” on May 10 will celebrate the members of the Class of 2013 and their families. Festivities are set for 6:30 to 9 p.m. in the SIU Arena parking lot and will include the Chicago-based cover band Mike and Joe, refreshments and items for purchase from local vendors.

There are 3,606 candidates for degrees as of April 30, including: 2,763 candidates for bachelor’s degrees, 596 candidates for master’s degrees, 62 candidates for doctoral degrees, 116 law degree candidates, and 69 candidates for associate degrees.

Three separate commencement ceremonies will be at the SIU Arena for undergraduate, graduate, and professional students.  Commencement ceremonies are open to the public, and there is no ticket requirement.

Here is the schedule of the May 11 commencement ceremonies:

  • 9 a.m. -- College of Liberal Arts, College of Science, SIU School of Law, and SIU School of Medicine.
  • 1:30 p.m. -- College of Business and College of Education and Human Services.
  • 6 p.m. -- College of Agricultural Sciences, College of Applied Sciences and Arts, College of Engineering, and College of Mass Communication and Media Arts.

Frank Abagnale, Jr., a security and fraud expert whose life is the focus in a best-selling book and the 2002 film, “Catch Me If You Can,” is the keynote speaker for each of the three commencement ceremonies.  First known as one of the world’s most famous confidence men, Abagnale has been associated with the FBI for more than 35 years and advises and consults financial institutions, corporations and government agencies around the world.

The University will honor four alumni during commencement for their service, commitment and humanitarian efforts.

Pamela K. and Philip M. Pfeffer of Nashville, Tenn., will each receive Distinguished Service Awards, and Dr. Robert L. Murphy, the founding director of the Center for Global Health, will receive an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree during the 9 a.m. commencement exercise.  Ella M. Phillips Lacey will receive a Distinguished Service Award during the 1:30 p.m. commencement exercise.

Pamela and Philip Pfeffer met in a physics class while students at SIU Carbondale and have each been actively involved with the University for more than four decades. 

Pamela Pfeffer began serving on the SIU Foundation Board in 1995 and served two terms as board president.  A Metropolis native, she earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics from SIU Carbondale in 1967.  Pfeffer’s grandfather, the late Lindell Sturgis, was a key figure in the University’s growth -- serving on the SIU Board of Trustees for 30 years, including board chair from 1969 to 1971. The couple established an endowment to fund the Lindell W. Sturgis Memorial Public Service Award, which annually recognizes the contributions of an SIU Carbondale employee to their community, area, state or nation.

The Pfeffers are life members of the SIU Alumni Association, the Paul and Virginia Society, and both have served on boards for the SIU Alumni Association, SIU Foundation, and College of Liberal Arts.  The couple has also hosted several SIU-related events in their home.

After earning a master’s degree in teaching mathematics from Vanderbilt University in 1968, Pamela Pfeffer began her career in the banking industry as a lending officer and branch manager at Third National Bank.  She is the author of “The Essential Home Record Book -- Ready-to-Use Forms for All Your Personal, Medical, Household, and Financial Information,” and has also written articles including, “Are 24 Hours Not Enough?” and “Be a Woman with a Mission.”

She has been previously and is currently actively involved in serving on many non-profit boards, including The Nashville Symphony Association and Habitat for Humanity of Greater Nashville. She is also a board member and corporate secretary for Treemont Capital, Inc., and actively involved in many of the investments held by Treemont Capital.

Philip Pfeffer is president and CEO of Nashville-based Treemont Capital, Inc., a private equity investment company specializing in newspaper and magazine publishing, web-based data management, reverse logistics, and other industries.  He is a two-degree SIU Carbondale graduate, earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and chemistry in 1965 and a master’s degree in economics in 1966.  He completed postgraduate studies in economics at Vanderbilt University from 1966 to 1968 as a National Science Foundation Fellow.

Among his SIU Carbondale honors, Philip Pfeffer received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 1997, the SIU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998, and Alumni Achievement Award in 1992.  He was keynote speaker at the Saluki Innovation Lab debut in October 2011.

Pfeffer was president, chief operating officer, director, and executive committee member for Random House from 1996 to 1998, and chairman of the board and CEO of Nashville-based Ingram Distribution Group, Inc., from 1977 to 1996.  The company grew from $36 million to $12 billion under his leadership, and Ingram Micro, Inc., was taken to the New York Stock Exchange. He was also executive vice president, member of the board of directors, and served on the executive committee of Ingram Industries, Inc., the parent company of the Ingram Distribution Group.  He was an instructor in finance and economics at the University of Tennessee in Nashville from 1968 to 1977, and a lecturer in corporate finance at Vanderbilt University from 1972 to 1977.

Murphy is the John Philip Phair Professor of Infectious Diseases at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, and professeur Associé de Recherche at Pierre et Marie Curie Université in Paris, France.  An Evanston native, Murphy earned a bachelor’s degree in geography in 1974, and is a life member of the SIU Alumni Association.

Murphy earned an Artium Baccalaureatus (AB) degree in biology from Boston University, and a Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in 1978.  He completed his internship, residency, and fellowship in infectious diseases at McGaw Medical Center, Northwestern University.  Affiliated with Northwestern University since 1978, Murphy became a Professor of Medicine there in 1999.

Murphy’s primary research and clinical interest is viral infections.  His research includes drug development for antiretroviral treatments and vaccines for HIV and viral hepatitis and the scale up of therapy for AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria in sub-Saharan Africa.  His support for AIDS prevention training for U. S. Peace Corps physicians active in West Africa dates to the early 1990s.  He founded and continues to direct the International AIDS Education Project. In 2003, he accepted the appointment for Director for the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Nigeria, and continues to serve as a special adviser for that initiative. Murphy has been instrumental in establishing more than 40 AIDS clinics in Africa.

He is also the recipient of two Fogarty International Research Collaboration Awards, presented by the National Institutes of Health.  These awards promote international research partnerships between scientists in the United States and in countries in the developing world.  Murphy worked with the NIH to forward antiretroviral education in Senegal, and with the African Village Clinics Foundation of Chicago to develop AIDS clinics in Kenya.

SIU Carbondale honored Murphy with an Obelisk Leadership Award in 1999, and in 2000 with an alumni recognition award from the Department of Geography in the College of Liberal Arts.

Lacey spent 22 years at the University meeting area health needs with her work prior to retiring from SIU in 1994.  She then served the Peace Corps for two years in Malawi, and continues her volunteer efforts. She began at SIU in 1972 as a field coordinator/instructor for the School of Medicine, subsequently earning promotion to assistant professor and then associate professor. She held a cross-appointment in the College of Education’s Department of Health Education.

Lacey earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology in 1964, a master’s degree in rehabilitation and human services in 1972, and a doctorate in education in 1979.  Included in her many awards are the University’s Distinguished Alumni recognition, and the Inspiring Women of Achievement Award in 2007.

While at SIU, Lacey played a vital role in the development and implementation of a plan that improved ambulance services in seven Southern Illinois counties, and she also served on state councils and commissions focusing on AIDS, welfare and hypertension.  She researched Pica, an eating disorder more commonly found in women with limited financial resources, and she served on state cancer prevention, adolescent pregnancy and child abuse committees.

Lacey also worked with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Stop Transmission of Polio Program, and also for the World Health Organization.  She traveled the world in several capacities including as UNICEF consultant with the Global Polio Eradication Programme and as a certified United Nations volunteer.

In her seven polio assignments, Lacey would train in Atlanta with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and travel three times to northern India and once each to Ghana, Ethiopia, Egypt, and Sierra Leone. Since 2008, Lacey’s international service has continued mainly in conjunction with Rotary International and her local club in the interest of water and sanitation. These efforts have included assignments in Kenya and twice back to Malawi. Efforts related to children’s orthopedic impairments have necessitated trips for needs assessments in Belize, Honduras, and Cuba.

Her local volunteer work includes being a longtime daily volunteer associate with the “I Can Read” afterschool program in Carbondale. She provides other local leadership and service with a special emphasis on scholarship awards through organizations such as Women for Health and Wellness, AAUW, NAACP, Boys and Girls Club of Carbondale and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the latter of which has included serving with that 200,000 member organization through an elected position to its national executive board. 

Lacey is the recipient of a range of awards and honors for her efforts.  These include the Presidential Volunteer Service Award from the Peace Corps, the 1991 University Women of Distinction Award, the 1993 Ida B. Wells-Barnett Award, and the 2004 Rosemary Berkel Crisp Award.  She is an SIU Carbondale Distinguished Alumni, and received the Inspiring Women of Achievement Award in 2007.  In 2010, Rotary International honored Lacey with a Service Above Self award and the City of Carbondale followed with the designation of Service Above Self Day in  honor of her work to fight polio, secure clean water, provide HIV/AIDS testing and improve children’s lives, as well as for fighting discrimination against women in countries that have included  Ghana, Ethiopia, Egypt, India, Malawi and Sierra Leone.