126th Commencement scheduled for May 18 at Assembly Hall
By David Porreca
The 126th Commencement of the UI at Urbana-Champaign will take place
in two ceremonies May 18 at Assembly Hall.
The commencement speaker at both ceremonies will be Diane Sawyer, news
correspondent and co-anchor of "PrimeTime Live," a news program
on ABC-TV. Sawyer and four other dignitaries will receive honorary degrees.
Candidates in the colleges of Applied Life Studies, Communications, Law,
Liberal Arts and Sciences, Veterinary Medicine, the School of Social Work,
the Institute of Labor and Industrial Relations, and the Graduate School
of Library and Information Science will receive degrees at the 10:30 a.m.
Candidates in the colleges of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental
Sciences, Commerce and Business Administration, Education, Engineering,
and Fine and Applied Arts will receive degrees at the 2 p.m. ceremony. WILL-AM
(580) will provide live coverage of the 2 p.m. ceremony.
Doors will open at 9:30 a.m. for the morning ceremony and at 1 p.m. for
the afternoon ceremony. After all students and their guests with tickets
are seated, the remaining seats will be made available to the public.
Commencement is held once a year to honor all students who have earned
bachelor's, master's, doctoral and professional degrees and advanced certificates
during the preceding academic year.
Sawyer, a native of Glasgow, Ky., joined ABC News in February 1989. In
addition to her work on "PrimeTime Live," she is a co-anchor of
the ABC News program "Turning Point," which premiered in March
Her investigative work for "PrimeTime Live" has earned Sawyer
several of the most prestigious awards in broadcast journalism. During the
1991-92 television season, her report on racial discrimination in American
society won the grand prize in the Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Awards.
She has received other honors for her work, including the Emmy, George Foster
Peabody and National Headliners awards.
Before joining ABC, Sawyer spent nine years at CBS News. She worked as
a State Department correspondent and co-anchored the "CBS Morning News"
and "60 Minutes."
Sawyer earned her bachelor's degree from Wellesley College, Wellesley,
Mass., in 1967. She began her broadcasting career the same year in Louisville,
Ky., where she worked as a reporter for WLKY-TV until 1970.
After leaving Kentucky, Sawyer held several staff positions in President
Richard Nixon's administration. Following Nixon's resignation in August
1974, Sawyer assisted the former president in the writing of his memoirs.
Also scheduled to join Sawyer in receiving honorary degrees:
- William G. Karnes, retired president and chief executive officer
of Beatrice Foods. Karnes earned a bachelor of science degree with honors
from the UI in 1933. He joined Beatrice Foods as a law clerk in 1936 and
moved quickly through the ranks. After 16 years with the company he became
president and CEO, retiring 24 years later in 1976. Under his leadership,
Beatrice Foods was transformed from a dairy company into one of the nation's
largest and most diversified food companies. When Karnes took over in 1952,
the company employed 8,000 workers and posted annual sales of $229 million.
At his retirement, the company had 80,000 workers and sales in excess of
- Rudolph A. Marcus, winner of the 1992 Nobel Prize in chemistry.
From 1954 to 1978, Marcus served on the UI faculty as an associate and
full professor of chemistry. Since 1978 he has held the Arthur A. Noyes
chair in the department of chemistry, California Institute of Technology.
In addition to the Nobel Prize, Marcus has received numerous awards for
his pioneering work in the theory of reaction rates and electron transfer,
including the National Medal of Science in 1989.
- Robert L. Metcalf, professor emeritus of entomology and former
head of the UI zoology department. Metcalf earned a bachelor's degree in
liberal arts and sciences from the UI in 1939. A year later, he earned
a master's degree in entomology, also from the UI. In 1946, he joined the
faculty at the University of California, Riverside, where he remained for
more than 20 years, earning a reputation as one of the leading scholars
in his field. In 1968, he joined the UI faculty, holding appointments at
the Illinois Natural History Survey, the Institute of Environmental Studies
and the Center for Advanced Study. Metcalf retired in May 1987.
- Arnold R. Weber, former president and current chancellor of
Northwestern University, Evanston, Ill. Weber earned a bachelor's degree
in economics from the UI in 1950. Two years later, he earned a master's
degree in industrial relations, also from the UI. He taught industrial
relations and labor economics at the University of Chicago from 1958 to
1973, interrupted by service in the Nixon administration from 1969 to 1971.
Weber worked as an administrator at Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh
from 1973 to 1980. He spent the next five years as president of the University
of Colorado, then served as president of Northwestern from 1985 to 1995.
Three Alumni Achievement Awards will be presented by the UI Alumni Association
at the Assembly Hall commencement ceremonies. Receiving the awards:
- Jerry Colangelo, class of 1962, president and chief executive
officer of the Phoenix Suns basketball organization. Colangelo has been
honored with an unprecedented four NBA Executive of the Year awards. He
has been a guiding force in acquiring the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball
team and the Phoenix Coyotes hockey team. Colangelo also has led efforts
to build two major sports facilities, the multipurpose America West Arena
and the retractable-dome Bank One Ballpark.
- John A. Georges, class of 1951, chairman and chief executive
officer emeritus of International Paper Co. Georges is widely credited
with turning the company into the $14 billion global business it is today.
His success in international commerce has made him a sought-after participant
on various boards and an adviser to congressional leaders. He and his wife,
Lou, have helped establish the John A. Georges Institute for Corporate
and Educational Leadership at the UI. He also was instrumental in creating
the John A. Georges International Paper Co. chair in Chemical Engineering
at the university.
- Robert D. Novak, class of 1952, is a well-known syndicated columnist
and political commentator. He regularly appears on television political
roundtable programs such as CNN's "Crossfire" and "Capital
Gang," of which he is co-executive producer. In 1963 Novak began a
collaboration with fellow journalist Rowland Evans that resulted in one
of the longest-running syndicated columns in the country. In appreciation
of his education at the UI, he established the Robert D. Novak Scholarship
in 1992 to encourage English and rhetoric majors who show promise as writers.
The Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award will be presented
to Gayl Simonds Pyatt, who earned a bachelor's degree in the teaching
of English from the UI in 1964. For more than 15 years, she has dedicated
her time and talents as a board member of the Alumni Association, a board
member and first woman president of the UI Foundation, and as a national
advocate for Campaign Illinois.
Among other planned activities in honor of the graduating class, the
UI Symphonic Band will give a free concert for graduates, candidates and
their guests at 8 p.m. May 17 in the Great Hall of the Krannert Center for
the Performing Arts. Tickets are not required.
All graduating students and their guests are invited to a reception hosted
by UI President and Mrs. James J. Stukel and Chancellor Michael Aiken from
8:30 to 10 a.m. May 18 in the gardens of the president's house.
University Dining Services will host a graduation lunch from 10 a.m.
to 1:30 p.m. May 18 at the Illini Union Ballroom. The lunch is open to the
public. Reservations are suggested. Call (217) 333-0690 for prices and information.
Comments to: Inside Illinois Editor Doris Dahl,
(217) 333-2895, email@example.com
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