Black Hills State University will hold its 153rd commencement ceremony Saturday, May 12 at 10 a.m. in the gymnasium of the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center.

Approximately 354 degrees will be awarded including 17 master’s degrees, eight bachelor of arts degrees, two bachelor of applied technical science degrees, 247 bachelor of science degrees, 65 bachelor of science in education degrees, and 15 associate degrees.

Dr. Randall Royer, 2006 Distinguished Faculty member, will speak to the graduates. Terry Baloun, vice president of the South Dakota Board of Regents, and Hugh Palmer, BHSU Alumni Association president, will also speak. Diplomas will be presented by Dr. Kay Schallenkamp, BHSU president, and April Meeker, BHSU registrar.

Three retirees will be formally recognized during the ceremony: Dr. George Earley, assistant vice president for Academic Affairs and director of Graduate Studies and Assessment; Dr. Susan Hove-Pabst, music professor; and Stephen Parker, associate music professor.

The 2007 Distinguished Faculty Award will be presented to Dr. Ahrar Ahmad, political science professor.

Music will be provided by Dr. Janeen Larsen, music professor and chairperson of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts; Christopher Hahn, music instructor; and the Black Hills Singers, under the direction Parker.

Immediately following the ceremony, Schallenkamp will host a reception for the graduates, their families and friends, and BHSU faculty and staff members. The reception will be held in the Young Center Field House.

An honors breakfast will be held prior to graduation at 8 a.m. in the David B. Miller Yellow Jacket Student Union Jacket Legacy Room. Teri Dibble, senior elementary education major, will be honored as the highest-ranking female graduate. Kestrel Schnabel, senior technology major from Parkston, will be honored as the highest-ranking male graduate.

Also honored at the breakfast will be the recipients of the BHSU Student Senate 2006-07 outstanding faculty, staff and students awards. Micheline Hickenbotham, assistant education professor, will be honored as the Outstanding Faculty Member. Schallenkamp will be honored as the Outstanding Staff Member. John Williams, senior business administration major from Spearfish, will be honored as the Outstanding Male Student; and Lily Bruckner, senior elementary education major from Rapid City, will be honored as the Outstanding Female Student.