In honor of Black History Month, UANews is asking African American students and employ
145th Commencement to Honor Grads, Faculty, Alumni
Graduating students, family members, alumni and faculty will celebrate during the Winter Commencement ceremony to be held Dec. 17 at 9:30 a.m. at McKale Memorial Center.
December graduates who wish to participate in the ceremony are invited to RSVP for themselves and their guests. The RSVP system will provide the Commencement Operations Team an estimate of the number of students attending, as well as the number of guests each student plans to bring.
During the last week of classes, Dec. 5-9, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., students participating in the ceremony who RSVP will be able to pick up their tickets and other commencement related instructions at various locations on campus.
A total of 2,663 undergraduate student degrees will be conferred, plus 810 master's degrees and 348 doctoral degrees.
Nine students will graduate with Juris Doctor degrees, two students will graduate with Master of Laws in Indigenous Peoples' Law and Policy and one student will graduate with a Master of Laws in International Trade Law.
Five students will be conferred as doctors in medicine.
During the ceremony, two Distinguished Outreach Faculty Professor Awards will be presented. Carol Bender, director of the Undergraduate Biology Research Program and the Biomedical Research Abroad: Vistas Open Program and professor of practice of molecular and cellular biology, and Edward Frasier Reid II, professor and faculty fellow of trumpet performance and music education, will be recognized.
Brenda and Bill Viner will be honored with the UA Alumni Achievement Award. The couple graduated from the UA in 1971 and work tirelessly to promote the UA and literacy programs within the Tucson community. They helped found the Tucson Festival of Books in 2009 and were instrumental in leading the $15 million capital campaign to build the new Student Union Memorial Center, directly assisting in fundraising efforts by personally garnering support from friends, colleagues and the Tucson community.
Bill Viner, chief executive officer of Pepper Viner Homes, a custom home developer, and Brenda Viner sit on the board of the Pima Library Foundation.
Six students also will be recognized with Centennial Achievement Awards. The awards, established in December 1984 by the UA Division of Student Affairs, recognize students who have demonstrated integrity, have overcome enormous challenges to achieve a college education and have made a contribution to self, community and family.
Receiving the awards will be undergraduate students Dylan Moriarty and honors student Ella Starobinska; master's students Denise Garcia and Shannon Corkery; and doctoral students Ashley K. Randall and Aja Y. Martinez.
Olympian and UA alumna Lacey John will serve as the commencement speaker.
Commencement is a formal celebration of academic achievement. Students must wear their cap and gown in order to be allowed onto the ceremony floor and must conduct themselves in a professional manner throughout the ceremony. The ceremony is open to friends and family members of the graduating students.
The academic procession into McKale begins at 9 a.m. Undergraduate and professional degree (law, medicine and pharmacy) students must assemble with others from their college or department at Bear Down Gym by 9 a.m. Graduate students must assemble on the north side of the Main Library, also by 9 a.m.
Each college also hosts a separate celebration for its graduates in the days before commencement.