BHSU spring commencement ceremony to honor more than 390 graduates

Author: BHSU Communications/Thursday, April 28, 2016/Categories: 2016

More than 390 graduation candidates will be recognized during Black Hills State University's 171st Commencement Ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday May 9 at the Donald E. Young Sports & Fitness Center on the BHSU campus.

More than 390 candidates for graduation will be recognized during the 171st Black Hills State University Commencement Ceremony.

The spring commencement ceremony is at 10 a.m. Saturday, May 7 at the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center on the BHSU campus. The public is invited to join and celebrate the students' achievements. Degrees to be awarded include 61 master's degrees, 306 bachelor's degrees, and 31 associate's degrees.

The commencement processional will be led with the University mace, carried by Dr. Nicholas Wallerstein, professor of English at BHSU and the 2015 Distinguished Faculty Member. He will also deliver the Charge to the Graduates. Wallerstein has been a faculty member at BHSU for 19 years and teaches early British literature and Shakespeare, along with theology, religion and English composition courses.

Ida Clarke, environmental physical science major from Oglala, will present a Lakota prayer. Dr. Rod Custer, provost and vice president of academic affairs at BHSU, and Dr. Kevin Schieffer of the South Dakota Board of Regents, will offer separate greetings to the graduates. BHSU President Tom Jackson, Jr., with the assistance of April Meeker, registrar at BHSU, will present the diplomas to the graduation candidates.

Jodi Gillette, former special assistant to President Barack Obama for Native American Affairs will be presented an Honorary Doctorate of Public Service degree. Gillette is honored for her leadership in resolving long-standing disputes between the U.S. and Indian nations, as well as for her commitment to providing opportunities for youth.

Dr. Parthasarathi Nag, professor of mathematics at BHSU, will be honored with the 2016 Distinguished Faculty Award during the commencement ceremony. Nag has been a BHSU faculty member since 2004.

BHSU retiring faculty receiving emeritus status that will be recognized during the ceremony include Dr. Peggy Buckwalter, professor of Spanish Dr. Kent Meyers, professor of English Dr. Ken Schallenkamp, professor of business law and Dr. Patricia Simpson, professor of education and dean, College of Education and Behavioral Sciences.

Julie Benedict, president of the BHSU Alumni Association, will welcome the graduates into the Alumni Association.

The National Anthem, along with special music "Love is Little" by Kevin Siegfried and "Hymn to BHSU," will be performed by the BHSU Concert Choir under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Nero, associate professor of music at BHSU. The recessional will be performed by Dr. Symeon Waseen and Dr. Christopher Hahn, assistant professors of music at BHSU.

The spring 2016 Commencement Ceremony will be broadcast live at www.BHSU.edu/Classof2016 for those who are unable to attend. BHSU encourages attendees to share their commencement story on social media with the hashtag #BHSU2016 in Twitter, Facebook and Instagram posts. A photo gallery from the ceremony will be available at http://photos.BHSU.edu after Monday, May 9.
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