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Simmons, others to be honored at SIUE commencement

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe will oversee the 2014 Spring Commencement exercises on Friday and Saturday, May 9 and 10. Ceremonies for the 2,231 eligible graduates will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Vadalabene Center on campus.

Newly installed SIU President Dr. Randy Dunn will participate in his first commencement ceremonies by speaking at the Friday night exercise.

Dixie Engelman, dean emerita of the SIUE College of Arts and Sciences and associate professor emerita of speech pathology and audiology, is being honored with the University’s Distinguished Service Award. Engelman has been a community advocate and volunteer for more than 35 years. Engelman will speak to the Saturday afternoon and evening sessions.

Dr. Kelly Gable, associate professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice in the School of Pharmacy, will receive the 2014 Teaching Excellence Award. Gable is recognized for her enthusiastic approach and for serving as a role model for pharmacy students, nursing students and medical students.

Alton attorney and philanthropist John Simmons will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Simmons, who graduated with honors from SIUE in political science, earned a Juris Doctor from Southern Methodist University School of Law in Dallas. He is founder and chairman of Simmons Browder Gianaris Angelides & Barnerd LLC, a national law firm headquartered in Alton, with additional offices in St. Louis, Chicago, San Francisco and El Segundo, Calif. Simmons will speak at Friday night’s and Saturday morning’s exercises.

The festivities begin Friday night with the Graduate School, School of Business and School of Nursing students receiving their degrees. Peter Gillen, who is earning a bachelor’s in nursing, is the student speaker for Friday’s session.

Ceremonies resume at 9 a.m. Saturday with the Graduate School and School of Education. The morning student speaker is James Engracia, who is receiving a bachelor’s in speech language pathology from the School of Education.

The Saturday afternoon ceremony begins at 1 p.m. with the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) followed at 5 p.m. by the School of Pharmacy, College of Arts and Science graduate students and the School of Engineering. The student speakers will be Victoria Francis, who is earning a bachelor’s in chemistry, during the afternoon session and Jonathan Long, who is receiving a master’s in sociology, closing the day.

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