Black Hills State University will recognize 445 candidates for graduation during the University’s 163rd commencement ceremony Saturday, May 5 at 10 a.m. in the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center.

Degrees for the spring 2012 BHSU graduation include 112 master’s degree candidates, 326 bachelor’s degree candidates, and seven associate degree candidates.

The highest ranking graduates are Jed Morgan, business administration major with an accounting specialization from Loveland, Colo., and Andrea Nelson, business administration major with a marketing specialization from Rapid City.

The University will continue the tradition of leading the commencement processional with the University mace.  A symbol of the University’s academic leadership, the mace will be carried by Dr. James Hess, the Distinguished Faculty member for 2011. Dr. Kathryn Johnson, president of the South Dakota Board of Regents, and Randy Schaefer, Board of Regents secretary, will give a greeting from the Regents. Dr. Rodney Custer, provost and vice president of Academic Affairs, will present the graduates; and BHSU President Kay Schallenkamp, assisted by April Meeker, registrar, will present the diplomas. Bill Collins, president of the BHSU Alumni Association, will welcome the new graduates into the Alumni Association.

The National Anthem and musical selection will be performed by the Black Hills Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Jonathan Nero, assistant professor of music. Dr. Symeon Waseen, assistant professor of music and Christopher Hahn, instructor of music, will lead the recessional.

Immediately following the ceremony, the faculty, staff, 2012 graduates, family and friends are welcome to gather in the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center Field House for the President’s Reception.

The commencement ceremony will be broadcast live via the internet for those who are unable to attend. For more information or to view the May 5 broadcast, visit www.BHSU.edu/Class2012.