The time has come! 143rd Commencement

Today marks the end of the beginning for more than 2,500 students. The graduates have spent the past few years preparing not only for this day, but also for the rest of their lives — which starts today with the University’s 143rd Commencement in Brookings Quadrangle.

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton will confer the degrees in the ceremony, which will start at 8:30 a.m. Of the 2,589 candidates, 1,411 are undergraduate and 1,178 are graduate and professional.

There are 420 doctoral candidates, including 72 for the doctor of philosophy degree from the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; eight for the doctor of science degree from the Henry Edwin Sever Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Science; 225 for the juris doctoris degree from the School of Law; and 115 for degrees from the School of Medicine.

In the event of rain, Commencement will still take place in the Quad. If the weather turns threatening, the ceremony for undergraduates will be moved to the Athletic Complex, while graduate and professional degrees will be bestowed at each respective school’s Commencement reception.

Streaming video of the ceremony will be broadcast online at The webcast can be viewed in January Hall, Room 110; the Arts & Sciences Laboratory Science Building, Room 300; and Louderman Hall, Room 458.

Thomas L. Friedman, a three-time Pulitzer Prize-winner for The New York Times, will deliver the Commencement address.

Friedman, the foreign affairs columnist, started at The Times in 1981 and has served in a variety of roles for the paper.

He was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting (from Lebanon); the 1988 Pulitzer for international reporting (from Israel); and the 2002 Pulitzer for commentary.

He recently completed his third book, Longitudes and Attitudes: Exploring the World After September 11, a collection of his post-September 11 Times columns, plus added commentary.

Honorary degrees also will be awarded at Commencement. In addition to Friedman, who will receive a doctor of laws, honorary degree recipients are: Joe Edwards, the driving force behind the revitalization of The Loop in University City, doctor of laws; David M. Kipnis, M.D., the Distinguished University Professor of Medicine and of Molecular Biology and Pharmacology, doctor of science;

Theodore McMillian, a judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, doctor of humanities; the late Robert M. Walker, Ph.D., former professor of physics in Arts & Sciences and faculty fellow of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences, doctor of science; and Edith Waldman Wolff, a generous University supporter and St. Louis philanthropist and volunteer, doctor of science.

The decision for implementing the Violent Weather Plan will be made by 7 a.m. today. Major local radio and television stations will be given the information; it will be posted on; and it will be announced through campus e-mail.Commencement will begin with the traditional academic procession into the Quad, which will be led by honorary grand marshal Robert L. Virgil, Ph.D., the Sesquicentennial Commission chair, a University trustee, the former Olin School of Business dean and former executive vice chancellor for University relations.

Virgil’s ties with the Olin School of Business began after his graduation from Beloit College and service in the Army. He enrolled in the University’s master of business administration program, earning a master’s in 1960 and a doctorate in 1967.

He began teaching in the Olin School in 1961 as an instructor. He later became a full professor of accounting, a position he held throughout his tenure as dean.

He has held visiting professorships at other institutions, including the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration at Dartmouth University and the Israel Institute of Technology.

His leadership abilities were recognized early. Virgil was named acting dean in 1977 and assumed the permanent deanship two years later. He retired from the University in 1993 to become a general principal at Edward Jones.

Approximately 125 alumni from the Class of 1954, celebrating their 50th reunion, will march in the opening procession.

For the 24th straight Commencement, the program will begin with music by The Mighty Mississippi Concert Band of St. Louis, under the direction of Dan Presgrave, music director/conductor of the University Symphony Orchestra, the University Wind Ensemble and The Saint Louis Wind Symphony.

Debra Hillabrand, a first-year student in the Master of Music in Vocal Performance Program, will sing “America the Beautiful.”

Raffi Nazarian, president of the senior class, will deliver the student Commencement greeting.

Conferral of academic degrees will follow, with the deans of each of the schools and Edward S. Macias, Ph.D., executive vice chancellor, dean of Arts & Sciences and the Barbara and David Thomas Distinguished Professor in Arts & Sciences, assisting Wrighton.

After the conferral of degrees, Wrighton will deliver his message to the Class of 2004.

Adam Cromer, who will receive a master of music in vocal performance degree, will conclude the ceremony by singing the “Alma Mater.”

Afterward, the University’s schools will hold receptions for graduates and their guests.

More than a dozen distinguished individuals will speak at Commencement-related events.

Thomas L. Friedman, the three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign-affairs columnist for The New York Times, will deliver the address at the main Commencement ceremony.

Other speakers are listed below.

• Robert E. Hegel, Ph.D., professor of Chinese and of comparative literature, both in Arts & Sciences, for the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences; immediately following the main Commencement ceremony in Edison Theatre.

• Repps Hudson, co-coordinator of the Communications and Journalism Program in University College in Arts & Sciences for University College; May 19 in Simon Hall Auditorium.

• Jack Knight, Ph.D., J.D., the Sidney W. Souers Professor of Government and chair of the Department of Political Science in Arts & Sciences, for the College of Arts & Sciences; May 20 in the Field House of the Athletic Complex.

• Jim Harris, associate professor of architecture, for the School of Architecture; immediately following the main Commencement ceremony, in the Brookings Drive mall.

• Patrick Schuchard, the E. Desmond Lee Professor for Community Collaboration and associate professor of art, for the School of Art; May 20 in Graham Chapel.

• Michael Kaplan, for the Olin School of Business’ Undergraduate Diploma and Awards Ceremony; immediately following the main Commencement ceremony in the Field House of the Athletic Complex.

• Gary Loveman, for the Olin School of Business’ Graduate Diploma and Awards Ceremony; 3 p.m. today in the Field House of the Athletic Complex.

• Stephen F. Brauer, University trustee, for the Henry Edwin Server Graduate School of Engineering & Applied Science; 2 p.m. today in Edison Theatre.

• Christopher I. Byrnes, Ph.D., dean and the Edward H. and Florence G. Skinner Professor of Systems Science and Mathematics, for the School of Engineering & Applied Science; May 20 in the Field House of the Athletic Complex.

• Shanti K. Khinduka, Ph.D., dean and the George Warren Brown Distinguished University Professor, for Eliot Honors Convocation; May 20 in the Field House of the Athletic Complex.

• Ned O. Lemkemeier, University trustee and chair of the School of Law National Council, for the School of Law; 12:30 p.m. today in Brookings Quadrangle.

• Sister Mary Jean Ryan, for the George Warren Brown School of Social Work; immediately following the main Commencement ceremony in Graham Chapel.

• Stephen Goldberg, M.D., for the School of Medicine; 3 p.m. today in the Ferrara Theater of America’s Center.

• Anthony Delitto, Ph.D., for the Program in Physical Therapy; immediately following the main Commencement ceremony in Sheldon Concert Hall.

• Gary R. Olson, for the Program in Health Administration; noon today in The Grand Ballroom of the Sheraton Clayton Plaza Hotel.

• Patrick Rummerfield, director of performance assessment in the School of Medicine’s Spinal Cord Injury Program, for the Program in Occupational Therapy; immediately following the main Commencement ceremony, Holmes Lounge.

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