SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — Wittenberg University’s 169th Commencement exercises will take place Saturday, May 17, in picturesque Commencement Hollow, where members of the university community will celebrate scholarship with 400 degree candidates slated to cross the stage.
The Myers Hall bell will toll at multiple times Saturday morning to notify the campus that the ceremony will be held in its intended outdoor location at the scheduled time of 11:30 a.m. If the bell does not ring, that will be a signal that the ceremony will take place in the Health, Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) Center, with doors scheduled to open at 10 a.m. Guests should be seated at either venue no later than 11 a.m.
If the ceremony is moved to the HPER Center, doors to Pam Evans Smith Arena will close at 11:15 a.m. to allow for movement of the academic procession. No one will be permitted to enter the arena after the doors have closed. Guests without tickets are welcomed and encouraged to view the ceremony via a video broadcast transmitted to classrooms throughout Hollenbeck Hall.
Special parking and seating have been arranged for physically disabled guests. For Commencement exercises held outdoors, physically disabled guests may enter campus before 10 a.m. through the drive on North Plum Street. A Wittenberg security officer will be at the driveway entrance to give instructions for parking and seating. In the event the exercises are held indoors, physically disabled guests may be dropped off in front of the HPER Center. Because of limited space in the HPER Center, seating is at a premium, so disabled guests may be seated with only one friend or family member.
Those scheduled for recognition during the Commencement ceremony include 17 “non-traditional” students from the School of Community Education and international students from China, Estonia, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Japan and Vietnam.
The Class of 2014 is comprised of 232 females and 168 males, with biology, business, communication, education, English and psychology representing the most popular majors.
Twenty-eight states and the aforementioned seven countries outside of the United States are represented within the graduating class. Undergraduate degrees to be awarded are Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Science, and Bachelor of Music Education, in addition to Master of Arts in Education. Two students in the class have earned two degrees during their collegiate career at Wittenberg.
A total of 117 graduates will earn Latin honors in recognition of their exceptional academic pursuits. 52 of them will be designated cum laude (3.5-3.69 grade point average), 21 will graduate magna cum laude (3.7-3.79) and 44 will graduate summa cum laude (3.8-4.0), including three students who hold perfect 4.0 grade point averages: Alec Biehl, Miaja Mikkelsen, and Misty Turner.
The 2014 Commencement speaker is Olympic Gold Medalist and award-winning sports journalist Donna de Varona.
A leading activist for sports and fitness for youth, de Varona has provided expertise as a consultant to the United States Senate on several landmark pieces of legislation, and she served five terms on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. The San Diego, Calif., native has been recognized by leaders in both major political parties, with appointments to commissions by Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Clinton and Bush.
De Varona is one of three individuals receiving honors during Wittenberg’s 2014 Commencement Exercises. She will be joined on the stage by William Steinbrink ’64, chair of Wittenberg’s Board of Directors from 2005-2008 and the university’s interim president in 2004-2005, and nationally recognized composer and organist Robert Hobby ’85.