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Nearly 4,700 students set to receive degrees (Released: 5/9/96)

by Richard Veilleux, Office of University Communications.

STORRS, Conn. -- Nearly 4,700 graduate and undergraduate students, as well as soon-to-be doctors, dentists, lawyers and lieutenants, are poised to begin a new life as they finish final examinations, senior projects and graduate thesis in preparation for the University of Connecticut's 113th Commencement exercises.

The total includes more than 2,800 undergraduates, representing 162 of Connecticut's 169 towns, 28 states plus Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands, and five countries. The 1,232 master's degree candidates and 252 doctoral degree awardees hail from dozens of states and nations. Overall, the total of 4,667 graduates is 149 fewer than the total who received degrees in 1995.

The list includes about 1,800 students who completed the requirements necessary for a degree in August or December 1995.

Meanwhile, hundreds of faculty, staff and administrators are in the midst of the annual scramble to prepare the Storrs campus for the two largest events -- dual undergraduate ceremonies May 18 and graduate ceremonies May 19. Workers are reseeding lawns and planting flowers, repainting crosswalks and stacking diploma covers, as well as checking student records, dispensing tickets, writing speeches and distributing caps and gowns.

Student leaders also are busy, finalizing plans and selling tickets for the third annual Cruisin' to Commencement celebration, featuring a graduation cruise down the Connecticut River May 16, a senior picnic at Holiday Hill recreation area in Mansfield May 17, a semi-formal graduation party in Jorgensen Auditorium that evening and a Commencement Brunch May 18. Seniors also are trying to find time between events to pack their clothes and prepare to move out of their dormitory rooms for the last time.

The University's traditional dual undergraduate ceremonies, set to begin at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. May 18, and graduate ceremonies, scheduled for 3 p.m. May 19, will take place in the Harry A. Gampel Pavilion. Undergraduates in the schools of agriculture, allied health professions, business, engineering, extended and continuing education, family studies, fine arts, nursing and pharmacy will receive their degrees during the morning and will be addressed by actor, entertainer and comedian Bill Cosby. Undergraduates from the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the School of Education will graduate during the afternoon ceremony, which will be addressed by Sanford Cloud Jr., president and chief executive officer of The National Conference, formerly the National Conference of Christians and Jews, one of the world's foremost human rights organizations.

The more than 1,200 master's degree candidates and 252 doctoral degree recipients will hear from Carol Fowler, a psychologist and president of Haskins Laboratories in New Haven.

Also during the week's celebrations:

  • Twenty-two members of the Army and Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) will be commissioned as 2nd lieutenants during 7 p.m. ceremonies May 17 in von der Mehden Recital Hall. The new officers will be addressed by retired U.S. Army Col. Nicholas A. Fanelli;
  • Martha L. Minow, a Harvard Law School professor and author, will be the featured speaker as 229 students receive law degrees at 10:30 a.m. May 19 at the UConn Law School in Hartford;
  • And, on Thursday, May 23, 85 students will receive medical degrees and 33 will be awarded dental medicine degrees during 5:30 p.m. ceremonies at the UConn Health Center in Farmington. They will be addressed by Margaret Caroline Heagarty, director of pediatrics at Columbia University-Harlem Hospital Center in New York City and a professor of pediatrics at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University.
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