Nearly 300 seniors will receive their bachelor's degrees during the 46th annual Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16, at the University of Minnesota, Morris. Commencement will take place on the campus mall beginning at 1:30 p.m. In case of rain, the event will be held in the P.E. Center.
Commencement Day will begin with a buffet lunch and division receptions from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the campus Student Center. The Commencement ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. on the campus mall.
UMM will also provide streaming video of the event online at: http://www.morris.umn.edu/events/commencement/
A pre-commencement concert and music during the ceremony will be performed by the Symphonic Winds, under the direction of Martin H. Seggelke, assistant professor of music. Student conductors Daniel Connolly '09, St. Paul, and Sarah Tolbert '09, Fridley, will be featured during performances of "Olympic Fanfare and Theme" and "Elsa's Procession to the Cathedral," respectively.
Music will also include selections by the Morris campus Concert Choir, under the direction of Ken Hodgson, associate professor of music. Graduating senior Rodney Fair, Minneapolis, will be the soloist during the selection, "Ain't Got Time To Die."
Leading the Commencement procession will be Student Color Guards: Kristin Youngblom '12, Lafayette, and Courtney Driessen '12, Blooming Prairie. Mace Bearer will be Wilbert Ahern, professor of history. Student Marshals will be Kathleen Kerber '12, Corcoran, and Katie Barron '11, St. Paul. Faculty Marshal is Elena Machkasova, assistant professor of computer science. "The Star Spangled Banner" will be sung by Laura Marie Woltjer '09, Little Falls.
Chancellor Jacqueline R. Johnson will provide the welcome and recognition of special guests. University of Minnesota Regent Richard Beeson and University of Minnesota Senior Vice President for System Academic Administration Robert Jones will give remarks.
Graduating senior Nathan Giles, Minneapolis, will speak on behalf of the graduates.
Author and outdoorsman Will Weaver will provide the graduation address. The author of Red Earth, White Earth, Weaver saw the title story of his collection, A Gravestone Made of Wheat and Other Stories, adapted for the 2005 independent feature, "Sweet Land," starring Alan Cumming and Oscar-winner Ned Beatty. The film was shot near Montevideo, Minn. A native Minnesotan who grew up on a dairy farm, Weaver's novels and short stories have earned rave national reviews for their "unflinching realism." A former English professor at Bemidji State University, Weaver lives in northern Minnesota, a region he writes from and loves.
In recognition of the campus' origins as an American Indian boarding school, a Native American Honor Song will be performed by the Northern Wind Singers to recognize and pay tribute to the Class of 2009.
Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean Cheryl K. Contant will present the Class of 2009. University of Minnesota Regent Richard Beeson will confer the degrees. A welcome to the new graduates will be given by University of Minnesota, Morris Alumni Association president Brian Ulrich '98.
A reception in the Student Center's Oyate Hall will follow Commencement.
The Humanities Fine Arts Gallery features the 2009 Senior Student Exhibition and is open to visitors before and after the commencement ceremony.