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UAF to celebrate 91st commencement


Fairbanks, Alaska—The University of Alaska Fairbanks will honor the accomplishments of the Class of 2013 during its 91st commencement ceremony Sunday, May 12 at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks.
The university's first commencement took place in 1923, when the sole graduate, John Sexton Shanly, received a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. On Sunday, UAF expects to confer approximately 1,360 degrees on 1,274 students. Some students will receive more than one degree. The commencement ceremony includes graduates from summer and fall 2012 and spring 2013.
UAF is, for the second year in a row, breaking its previous record for doctorates with 52 students slated to receive the university’s highest degree. More associate and baccalaureate degrees are also being awarded this year. Class of 2013 graduates range in age from 18 to 74. Several members of the University of Alaska Board of Regents and UA President Patrick Gamble will help UAF Chancellor Brian Rogers confer degrees.
The Downriver Singers will lead the processional. Graduates, faculty members, honorary degree and Meritorious Service Award recipients, and university officials will participate in the ceremony beginning at 1:20 p.m.
Matt Emmons, UAF alumnus and Olympic medalist, will give the keynote address. Emmons graduated from UAF in 2003 and also holds a master’s degree from the University of Colorado. He helped lead the UAF rifle team to four consecutive national championships and has won three medals in the last three Olympic Games: gold in 2004, silver in 2008 and bronze in 2012.
UAF will award two honorary degrees and one Meritorious Service Award during the commencement ceremony. This year’s honorary degree recipients are former state senator John Sackett and archaeologist and UAF alumnus George Smith. The Meritorious Service Award recipient is John Zarling, an engineering professor emeritus.
The student speaker is Kaare Odegard, who is receiving a bachelor’s degree in finance. UAF will also honor winners of this year’s awards for graduating seniors: Theresia Schnurr, the Marion Frances Boswell Memorial Award; Jenny York, the Gray S. Tilly Memorial Award; and Paul Tschida, the Joel Wiegert Award.
Raymond Barnhardt, professor of cross-cultural studies, will serve as the procession’s grand marshal. Barnhardt is among 12 retiring faculty and staff members who will be granted emeritus status on Sunday, a title given to those who have served the university with distinction for at least 10 years.
Others receiving emeritus status are: Carol Barnhardt, associate professor of elementary education; Charles Crapo, professor of seafood science; Joel Irish, professor of anthropology; Zygmunt Kowalik, professor of oceanography; Jonah Lee, professor of mechanical engineering; Carol Lewis, dean of the School of Natural Resources and Agricultural Sciences and professor of resource management; Roman Motyka, research professor; Peter Schweitzer, professor of anthropology; Jan Stitt, creative director of marketing and communications; Peter Stortz, professor of Extension; and Daniel Walsh, professor of mineral preparation engineering.
Commencement rehearsal for graduates is Saturday, May 11, at 10:30 a.m. at the Carlson Center. There will also be a picnic that day immediately following rehearsal until 1:30 p.m. at the Carlson Center for graduates and their families and friends to celebrate with Chancellor Brian Rogers. Graduation mass will take place Sunday at 10:30 a.m. in Schaible Auditorium. The Carlson Center will open for guest seating at noon on Sunday. The processional will begin at 1:20 p.m. The event will also be available as a webcast. Visit www.uaf.edu/commencement and click on the webcast link.
Graduates, their families and UAF alumni are welcome to attend a reception hosted by the UAF Alumni Association Fairbanks Chapter in the Carlson Center’s Arthur Buswell Pioneer Room immediately following Sunday’s commencement ceremony.
*Class of 2013 profile*
The following statistics provide a snapshot of UAF’s 2013 graduating class. Please be aware that these are only preliminary numbers, current as of May 8, 2013. Final statistics will not be available until after commencement. With that in mind, here’s this year’s class profile:
• 1360 awards expected to be conferred on approximately 1274 students:
36 occupational endorsement
153 certificates
270 associate degrees
569 bachelor’s degrees
243 master’s degrees
52 doctorates
36 recommendations for education licensure
2 graduate certificates
• 761 women graduating and 513 men
• Diversity breakdown:
203 Alaska Native/American Indian
23 Asian
30 Black
59 Hispanic
119 Other
66 International
766 White
9 Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
• Youngest graduate is 18; oldest graduate is 74.
• Average age of class: 28
*2013 schedule for media*
Following is a schedule of commencement-weekend activities. Asterisked times are estimated.
Saturday, May 11
10:30 a.m. – Commencement rehearsal at the Carlson Center
*11:30 – 1:30 p.m. – Graduate picnic at the Carlson Center immediately following rehearsal
Sunday, May 12
10:30 a.m. – Graduation mass at Schaible Auditorium
Noon – Carlson Center opens for guest seating
12:20 p.m.  – Graduates line up at Carlson Center
12:45 p.m. – Faculty, administrators and stage party line up
1:20 p.m. – Academic procession begins
1:30 p.m. – Ceremony begins
*4:30 p.m. – Reception begins in Arthur Buswell Pioneer Room at Carlson Center
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