Sen. John Thune will address approximately 375 graduates during the 155th commencement ceremony at Black Hills State University Saturday, May 10 at 10 a.m. in the Donald E. Young Sports and Fitness Center gymnasium. Randall Morris, South Dakota Board of Regents member, and Hugh Palmer, BHSU Alumni Association president, will also speak during the ceremony.

Dr. Kay Schallenkamp, BHSU president, and April Meeker, BHSU registrar, will award 60 master’s degrees, 221 bachelor of science degrees, 62 bachelor of science in education degrees, 6 bachelor of arts degrees, 1 bachelor of applied technical science degree, and 25 associate degrees.

Six retiring faculty members will be granted emeritus status during the ceremony: Lorenzo Bettelyoun, assistant professor of Indian education and human relations; David Diamond, assistant professor of mass communications; Dr. Charles Follette, professor of speech; Margaret Lewis, assistant professor of sociology; Dr. Jerry Miller, professor of industrial technology; and Ronnie Theisz, professor of English. Theisz will also receive the 2008 Distinguished Faculty Award.

Music will be provided by Dr. Janeen Larsen, music professor and chairperson of the Department of Fine and Applied Arts; and the Black Hills Singers, under the direction of assistant music professor Dr. Jonathan Nero.

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.

This year, two graduates will share the honor of highest-ranking female- Kelly Kirk, history major from Beulah, N.D., and Joanna Vandever, psychology major from Spearfish. Albin Spreizer, music major from Rapid City, will be recognized as the highest-ranking male graduate.