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Inside Iowa State, a newspaper for faculty and staff, is published by the Office of University Relations.

May 1, 2009


Engineering students assemble outside Hilton Coliseum prior to last spring's undergraduate commencement ceremony. More than 2,400 students are expected to receive bachelor's degrees from Iowa State on May 9. Photo by Bob Elbert.

3,000-plus will receive Iowa State degrees next week

by Anne Krapfl

Spring commencement events are set for May 8-9. An anticipated 3,038 students will receive degrees from Iowa State at one of three ceremonies.

An estimated 356 master's and 105 doctoral students will be honored during an 8 p.m. ceremony Friday, May 8, in Stephens Auditorium. Carolyn Cutrona, ISU professor of psychology and director of the Institute for Social and Behavioral Research, will give the address. Cutrona's research focuses on such things as neighborhood, personality or stressful life events as predictors of the onset of depression. She also studies a variety of topics related to marriage and published a book in 1996, Social Support in Couples: Marriage as a Resource in Times of Stress.

At noon Saturday, May 9, an estimated 113 students will receive their Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees during a ceremony also at Stephens. Graduates will be addressed by Marguerite Pappaioanou, a veterinary doctor, epidemiologist and current executive director of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, Washington, D.C. She served more than 20 years with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, specializing in research and programs in Africa and Asia, including malaria and HIV.

NASA astronaut and ISU alumnus Clayton Anderson will speak at the undergraduate ceremony, which starts at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Hilton Coliseum. An estimated 2,464 students will receive bachelor's degrees from Iowa State this spring.

Ashland, Neb., native Anderson earned a master's degree in aerospace engineering from Iowa State in 1983, and is the first ISU alum to become an astronaut. He joined NASA's Johnson Space Center in 1983 and was selected as a mission specialist in 1998. He was a flight engineer aboard the International Space Station for five months in 2007, and has been assigned to the crew of a shuttle mission scheduled to launch in February 2010. Anderson returned to campus in April 2008 to receive a Distinguished Alumni Award.

Honorary degrees

Two men with connections to the university will receive honorary Doctor of Science degrees at the undergraduate ceremony.

The first is J. Dwayne McAninch, chairman and CEO of the West Des Moines earth-moving company, McAninch Corp. He is being recognized for his leadership in applying new technologies in the soils construction industry, as well as his support of education in the areas of civil and construction engineering.

A 17-year-old McAninch started his business 55 years ago with a single tractor. Today, it is one of the nation's most advanced earth-moving and utilities contracting companies.

Pending state Board of Regents approval April 30, an honorary degree also will be awarded to ISU alumnus Chan-Koo Park for his innovation in science and the petrochemical industry. Park is chairman and CEO of chemical operations of the Kumho Asiana Group, Seoul, South Korea. Kumho Petrochemicals is the second-largest producer of synthetic rubber in the world. Park led Kumho's development of one such product that vastly improved the manufacturing process for items such as tires, sporting equipment, footwear and conveyors. He has been an advocate for environmentally responsible product development. Park earned a bachelor's degree in statistics from ISU in 1976.

Colleges also will hold convocations or receptions to honor their graduating students. A complete list of spring commencement events is below.

Spring Commencement, May 8-9

(All events are free)

Friday, May 8

  • 2-4 p.m., Reception, honoring international undergraduate and graduate students, Great Hall, MU, 4-0376.
  • 4:30 p.m., Ceremony, College of Human Sciences, for undergraduate students, Stephens (6 p.m. reception for undergraduate and graduate students, first floor lobby, Scheman), 4-7002.
  • 5 p.m., Ceremony, College of Business, for undergraduate and graduate students, Hilton, 4-8300.
  • 5:30 p.m., Reception and informal program, College of Engineering, for graduate students, 220 Scheman, 4-8857.
  • 8 p.m., Ceremony, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, for undergraduate students, Hilton, 4-0461.
  • 8 p.m., Commencement, for master's and doctoral students, Stephens, 4-9372.

Saturday, May 9

  • 8 a.m., Reception, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, for undergraduate students (9 a.m. ceremony), Stephens, 4-8653.
  • 9 a.m., Receptions, College of Engineering, (9:30-10:30 a.m. recognition programs), for undergraduate students, various campus locations by department, 4-8857.
  • 9:30 a.m., Reception, College of Design, for undergraduate and graduate students (10 a.m. ceremony), atrium, Design, 4-7427.
  • Noon, Commencement, College of Veterinary Medicine, for D.V.M. students, Stephens, 4-0772.
  • 1:30 p.m., Commencement, for undergraduate students in all colleges, Hilton, 4-9372.


An anticipated 3,038 students will receive degrees from Iowa State at one of three commencement ceremonies May 8-9.