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Wittenberg University Preps For 167th Commencement Exercises

May 12, 2012  
 Filed in Community, Events

The stage is set for the next set of graduates to take their places in picturesque Commencement Hollow.

Springfield, Ohio — Wittenberg University’s 167th Commencement exercises will take place Saturday, May 12, in picturesque Commencement Hollow, where members of the university community will celebrate scholarship with 410 degree candidates slated to cross the stage.

The Myers Hall bell will toll at multiple times Saturday morning to notify the campus that the ceremony will be held in its intended outdoor location at the scheduled time of 11:30 a.m. If the bell does not ring, that will be a signal that the ceremony will take place in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Center, with doors scheduled to open at 10 a.m. Guests should be seated at either venue no later than 11 a.m.

If the ceremony is moved to the HPER Center, doors to Pam Evans Smith Arena will close at 11:15 a.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 10 a.m. 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 19 “non-traditional” students from the School of Community Education and international students from China, Jamaica, Nepal, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania and Viet Nam. The Class of 2012 is comprised of 259 females and 151 males, with biology, business, communication, education, English, political science and psychology representing the most popular majors.

Thirty states and the aforementioned seven 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 Music Education and Bachelor of Science, in addition to Master of Arts in Education. Three students in the class have earned two degrees during their collegiate career at Wittenberg.

A total of 147 graduates will earn Latin honors in recognition of their exceptional academic pursuits. Fifty of them will be designated cum laude (3.5-3.69 grade point average), 34 will graduate magna cum laude (3.7-3.79) and 63 will graduate summa cum laude (3.8-4.0), including a phenomenal six students who hold perfect 4.0 grade point averages:

  • John Meszaros of Hartville, Ohio
  • Melanie Muszelik of Reisterstown, Md.
  • Nathan Peeters of Okemos, Mich.
  • Kayla Potter of Chillicothe, Ohio
  • Danielle Walerius of Loveland, Ohio
  • Katherine Winters of University Heights, Ohio

The 2012 Commencement speaker is Jennifer Vanica, former president and CEO of the Jacobs Family Foundation and Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation and a 1976 Wittenberg alumna. Now a community change consultant, Vanica is a leader in bridging disciplines – from philanthropy to smart growth to social enterprise – and building partnerships that advance innovative solutions for comprehensive, sustainable community change.

Vanica is one of three individuals receiving honorary degrees during Wittenberg’s 2012 Commencement Exercises. She will be joined on the stage by philanthropist Virginia Ellis Franta, Wittenberg class of 1936, and Peggy Fox, Wittenberg class of 1967 who is a retired president and publisher of New Directions Publishing Corporation.

Franta has been described as the “angel of the chemistry department” in recognition of her annual support for student and faculty research. She has volunteered in several capacities with the Chi Omega Alumni Association, the Wilmington (Del.) Panhellenic Association and the Girl Scouts of America. She will receive the university’s highest non-academic recognition, the Wittenberg Medal of Honor.

During her career at New Directions, Fox brought experimental literature to new readers and new writers for more than two decades. Her work enhanced collective understanding as she helped to bring new ideas, globalism, compassion and humility to today’s literature. She will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters.

Written By: Ryan Maurer

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