150th Commencement: Let the celebration begin!

Week kicks off with Chancellor’s dinner for seniors; continues with celebrating, commemorating

Commencement week begins with a variety of celebrations and ceremonies designed to warmly send Washington University in St. Louis’ Class of 2011 out into the world.

First up: The Chancellor’s Dinner to Honor Graduating Seniors at 6 p.m. Monday, May 16. More than 1,200 are expected at America’s Center ballroom as Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton and the WUSTL community celebrates the accomplishments of the class and acknowledges its positive impact.

Beginning Wednesday, May 18, more than a dozen distinguished individuals will speak at Commencement-related events for graduates and their friends and families.

The weeklong celebration culminates at 8:30 a.m. Friday, May 20, with the 150th Commencement ceremony in Brookings Quadrangle in which more than 2,700 candidates will receive degrees. Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and human rights activist, will deliver the Commencement address, titled “Memory and Ethics.”

Other speakers and events this week are:

Ken Botnick, professor of art and director of the Kranzberg Book Studio, for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’ College of Art/Graduate School of Art Recognition Ceremony, at 8 p.m. Thursday, May 19, in Graham Chapel. Student speaker is Tracy Rebecca Leibsohn, a bachelor’s candidate in fine arts.

Charles H. Christiansen, EdD, executive director of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation, for the Program in Occupational Therapy at 1 p.m. Friday, May 20, in Graham Chapel.

Lee Fixel (BSBA ’02) managing director, Tiger Global Management, for the Olin Business School Undergraduate Diploma and Awards Ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 20, in the Athletic Complex Field House.

Catalina Freixas, senior lecturer in architecture, for the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts’ College of Architecture/Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design Diploma Ceremony, immediately following the main Commencement ceremony in the Brookings Drive Mall. Student speakers are David Adkins, a bachelor’s candidate in architecture, and James Morgan, a master’s candidate in architecture.

Shirley Ann Jackson, PhD, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a WUSTL 2011 honorary degree recipient, for the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences at the Hooding and Recognition Ceremony at 11:30 a.m. Friday, May 20, in the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall, 560 Music Center, 560 Trinity Ave. in University City.

Steve Leer (MBA ’77), chairman and CEO, Arch Coal Inc., for the Olin Business School Graduate Diploma and Awards Ceremony at 3 p.m. Friday, May 20, in the Athletic Complex Field House.

Donna McGinnis, adjunct instructor and coordinator for the nonprofit management program in University College, at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, in May Auditorium in Simon Hall. Student speaker is Sarah Hermes Griesbach, who received her master of liberal arts in December 2010.

Marilyn Moffat, PhD, professor of physical therapy, New York University, for the Program in Physical Therapy at 1:30 p.m. Friday, May 20, at Sheldon Concert Hall, 3648 Washington Blvd.

Erin McGlothlin, PhD, associate professor and director of undergraduate studies in the Department of Germanic Languages and Literatures in Arts & Sciences, for the College of Arts & Sciences Recognition Ceremony at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 19, in the Field House in the Athletic Complex. Student speaker is Benjamin Graham, bachelor’s candidate in the Philosophy-Neurosciences-Psychology Program in Arts & Sciences.

Linda Rae Murray, MD, president of the American Public Health Association, for the Brown School Diploma Ceremony at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 20, in the E. Desmond Lee Concert Hall in the 560 Music Center.

Matthew Spitzer, MD, president of the board of directors for Médecins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders USA, for the School of Medicine at 3 p.m. Friday, May 20, at the Ferarra Theatre at America’s Center, 701 Convention Plaza.

Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton for the School of Engineering & Applied Science Undergraduate Recognition Ceremony at 2:30 p.m. May 19 in the Field House in the Athletic Complex. Student speakers are Kalee Alex Cassady, Glenn Welt and Lujia Zhang.

The following schools also will hold individual recognition ceremonies:

Program in Audiology and Communication Sciences at 1 p.m. Friday, May 20, in the Connor Auditorium in Farrell Learning and Teaching Center. Reception immediately following.

School of Law Diploma Ceremony, immediate following Commencement Friday, May 20 on Mudd Field. Student speaker is Joseph Littman. Reception immediately following in Anheuser-Busch Hall.

For a complete listing of events surrounding Commencement Week at WUSTL, visit commencement.wustl.edu.