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Caps and Gowns Abound at UC Commencement


The number of spring graduates is at its highest in 20 years as UC continues to build on retention, enrollment and student satisfaction.

Date: 6/9/2008 12:00:00 AM
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Katie Hageman and Andrew Higley

UC ingot  

Spring brings a bumper crop of graduates for the University of Cincinnati’s Spring Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday, June 14, in Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center. UC’s Office of Institutional Research reports the number of UC students reaching graduation is at its highest in 20 years.

Commencement

UC will hold two commencement ceremonies for winter and spring 2008 graduates.

Morning Ceremony
Processional begins at 9 a.m., Saturday, June 14
Doors open at 8 a.m.
Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center
College of Business; College-Conservatory of Music; College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning; College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services; Raymond Walters College; School of Social Work

Afternoon Ceremony
Processional begins at 2 p.m., Saturday, June 14
Doors open at 1 p.m.
Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center
College of Allied Health Sciences; College of Applied Science; Clermont College; College of Engineering; McMicken College of Arts and Sciences; College of Nursing

The Doctoral Hooding and Master’s Recognition Ceremony will be held at 1:30 p.m., Friday, June 13, at Fifth Third Arena at Shoemaker Center. The processional begins at 1 p.m. Tickets are not required for the events. Parking is free in all UC garages on June 13 and on June 14.

A total of 4,555 UC students reached graduation status this spring, achieving 4,617 degrees (some graduates earn more than one degree), including

  • 537 associate degrees
  • 2,511 bachelor’s degrees
  • 1,036 master’s degrees
  • 533 doctoral degrees

Click here for a statistical look at the Class of 2008

Over the entire fiscal year covering July 2007 through June 2008, the Office of Institutional Research reports that more than 7,000 students achieved graduation status, demonstrating that UC is moving forward on the UC|21 strategic plan to achieve academic excellence and place students at the center of the university.

Commencement

UC’s growing student retention is one factor. Kristi Nelson, UC senior vice provost for Academic Planning, says strategies that have increased retention include growing support systems for students such as the First-Year Experience programs for incoming freshmen. She adds that UC has also emphasized efforts to increase student engagement in learning through service-learning programs, study abroad and other experiential learning opportunities beyond cooperative education (which was founded at UC). Nelson says retention is growing through enhanced student advising and capstone experiences that demonstrate learning success – all fueling the swelling numbers of graduates. Retention rates have increased from 77 percent in 2003 to 82 percent in 2007.

Furthermore, as UC’s distance-learning programs continue to grow, so do the numbers of distance-learners reaching graduation. These are mostly non-traditional students taking classes part-time. The average age of the UC distance-learning student is 34.

Caroline Miller, senior associate vice president and associate provost for Enrollment Management, adds that swelling enrollment, fueled by successful recruitment and marketing efforts, as well as the transformation of campus and UC’s growing word-of-mouth popularity, are building on the numbers of students achieving their diplomas.

The record graduating class also reflects results in a recent Student Satisfaction Survey that indicated UC students are increasingly satisfied with their university.

Earl Hamner, author and creator of the long-running television series, “The Waltons,” and an alumnus of the UC College-Conservatory of Music, will address graduates at the University of Cincinnati All-University Commencement ceremonies. Hamner is an alumnus of the College-Conservatory of Music.

At both ceremonies, UC will pay tribute to three local fallen heroes with special ties to the university. Staff Sergeant Keith Matthew “Matt” Maupin was a UC student when his Army Reserve unit was called up for service in Iraq. In his memory, Maupin’s family will be presented with an Honorary Bachelor’s for Outstanding Community Service.

The family of Fire Captain Robin Broxterman, who earned her associate’s degree from the UC Fire Science program and was completing her bachelor’s degree, will be presented with the Honorary Bachelor’s for Outstanding Community Service in recognition of her dedication to the highest values of the university. Broxterman’s bachelor’s degree in fire science will be awarded posthumously.

Fellow firefighter Brian Schira was a graduate of the criminal justice program in the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services. In his memory, Schira’s family will be presented with the Honorary Bachelor’s for Outstanding Community Service.

Commencement

Jason Waller of Lincoln Heights, a Princeton High School grad who’s earning his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, will deliver the university oration for the morning ceremony. Jerry Tsai of Marysville, Ohio, who’s earning his bachelor’s degree in political science from the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, will deliver the university oration for the afternoon ceremony.

Tsai is also among the three graduates who will be recognized for receiving the university’s most prestigious honor for undergraduates, the Presidential Leadership Medal of Excellence, in recognition of exemplary academics, leadership, character and service. The other two recipients are Monique Jindal of Loveland, Ohio, and Ryan Vose of Springboro, Ohio.

Click here for profiles of individual graduates.

The university will present honorary doctoral degrees to Commencement Speaker Earl Hamner and

  • Stan Herman, the pioneer of the designer uniform, a graduate of UC’s top-ranked College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP), a three-time Coty award-winning designer and past president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), who will be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts at the 9 a.m. ceremony.
  • Brigman “Brig” Owens, a UC alumnus of the College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services, former NFL star and co-founder of the sports management and real estate development firm, Bennett & Owens, as well as founder of the non-profit youth program, Super Leaders, who will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the 9 a.m. ceremony.
  • William “Bill” Wiesmann, MD, HemCon bandage co-inventor/developer, BioSTAR Group founder and alumnus of the UC McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, who will be awarded the Honorary Doctor of Science at the 2 p.m. ceremony.

The UC Award for Excellence will honor

  • Milton C. Anderson, founder and director of The Young Americans musical performance company, who will be recognized at the 9 a.m. ceremony. Anderson earned his bachelor’s degree from UC in music education. He founded The Young Americans non-profit educational organization in 1962 to reflect a positive image of the nation’s youth through music and dance.

The traditional Alumni Association Reception will be held immediately after the ceremonies at the Russell C. Myer Alumni Center on Campus Green.

The commencement ceremonies will be Webcast by the UC Presentation Technologies & Services Group. This marks the 10th year that commencement can be watched from the Internet.

9 a.m. Webcast in Flash (Will begin 30 minutes before the ceremony)

9 a.m. Webcast in Windows Media (Will begin 30 minutes before the ceremony)

2 p.m. Webcast in Flash  (Will begin 30 minutes before the ceremony)

2 p.m. Webcast in Windows Media (Will begin 30 minutes before the ceremony)

Webcast for the June 13 hooding ceremony in Flash

Webcast for the June 13 hooding ceremony in Windows Media

Click here to view the Commencement Web site

The University of Cincinnati is marking its 189th year, beginning as the Cincinnati College in 1819. The number of UC’s living alumni is estimated to be 211,954 with 104,519 living in the Cincinnati USA region (2007).