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Wittenberg University Preps For 165th Commencement Exercises

May 14, 2010  
 Filed in Featured


Preparations in Commencement Hollow are almost complete.

Springfield, Ohio — For the 165th time in its illustrious history, Wittenberg University will hold Commencement exercises. The 2010 event is scheduled to take place in the traditional Commencement Hollow location, where members of the university community will celebrate scholarship with 419 degree candidates slated to cross the stage.

The Myers Hall bell will toll at 8:30 a.m., 10 a.m. and again at noon on Saturday to notify the campus that the ceremony will be held in its intended outdoor location at the scheduled time of 1:30 p.m. If the bell does not ring, that will be a signal that the ceremony will be held in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Center, with the doors scheduled to open at noon. Guests should be seated at either venue no later than 1 p.m.

If the ceremony is moved to the HPER Center, doors to Pam Evans Smith Arena will close at 1:15 p.m. to allow for movement of the academic procession. No one will be permitted to enter the arena after the doors have closed. Guests without tickets are welcomed and encouraged to view the ceremony via a video broadcast transmitted to classrooms throughout Hollenbeck Hall.

Special parking and seating have been arranged for physically disabled guests. For Commencement exercises held outdoors, physically disabled guests may enter campus before noon through the drive on North Plum Street. A Wittenberg security officer will be at the driveway entrance to give instructions for parking and seating. In the event the exercises are held indoors, physically disabled guests may be dropped off in front of the HPER Center. Because of limited space in the HPER Center, seating is at a premium, so disabled guests may be seated with only one friend or family member.

Those scheduled for recognition during the Commencement ceremony include 16 “non-traditional” students from the School of Community Education and 12 international students. The Class of 2010 is comprised of 260 females and 159 males, with management, biology, English, education, communication, political science and psychology representing the most popular majors with 33 or more graduates apiece.

Twenty-four states and nine countries outside of the United States are represented within the graduating class. Undergraduate degrees to be awarded are Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music Education and Bachelor of Music, in addition to Master of Arts in Education.

A total of 125 graduates will earn Latin honors in recognition of their exceptional academic pursuits. Forty-eight of them will be designated cum laude (3.5-3.69 grade point average), 27 magna cum laude (3.7-3.79) and 50 summa cum laude (3.8-4.0).

The 2010 Commencement speaker is international AIDS activist Zackie Achmat, who will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters during the ceremony. Achmat and Ho Pak Kong, Wittenberg class of 1950 and founder of Hong Kong-based Lotus International Ltd., will receive the same honorary degrees during the event, while Professor of Emeritus of English and Mark Twain scholar Richard Veler, class of 1958, will receive the university’s highest non-academic award, the Wittenberg Medal of Honor.

Founder and chairman of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), the most well-known and successful AIDS activist group in South Africa, Achmat is committed to ensuring that HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence. In April 2001, TIME Magazine named Achmat its Person of the Week, citing his leadership in the “campaign to secure treatment for South Africa’s 4.7 million HIV patients” and the “epic victory” that year “when 39 pharmaceutical companies withdrew a lawsuit to block South Africa from importing cheaper generic copies of patented AIDS drugs.” Achmat’s work, the magazine continued, raised “new hope for millions of AIDS sufferers throughout the developing world.”

Written By: Ryan Maurer
Photo By: Erin Pence


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