Baker set for three commencements
For the first time in its 147-year history, Baker University will hold three separate commencement exercises this spring.
Two ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 15, for graduates of the School of Professional and Graduate Studies. On Saturday, May 22, a ceremony will be held for graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of Nursing.
In recent years, Baker's commencement schedule consisted of two ceremonies on a single day. Because of an increase in the number of graduates from the School of Professional and Graduate Studies, however, a third ceremony was added to assure adequate seating and participation for family and friends of the graduates.
The schedule of events is as follows, with all exercises to be conducted at Collins Sports Center, Sixth and Fremont streets, Baldwin City:
1 p.m. May 15: SPGS Undergraduate Commencement. Speaker is Cordell Meeks Jr., Wyandotte County District Court Judge.
4:30 p.m. May 15: SPGS Graduate Commencement. Speaker is Dr. William B. Neaves, president and CEO, Stowers Institute for Medical Research.
1 p.m. May 22: College of Arts and Sciences/School of Nursing Commencement. Speaker is Thomas M. Hoenig, president and CEO, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City.
All three speakers will receive honorary degrees. In addition, honorary degrees will be presented during the May 22 exercise to the Rev. Scott James Jones, bishop of the Kansas Area of the United Methodist Church; Katharine B. Kelley, retired public school teacher and longtime friend of Baker; and Susan L. Perry, a former Board of Trustees member who donated $1 million to the university earlier this year to create the Susan L. Perry Chair in Western American History.
In addition to the May 15 and May 22 activities, Baker's School of Nursing graduates will participate in a pinning ceremony at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 20, at Grace Episcopal Cathedral in Topeka.
Baker, the oldest university in Kansas, was founded in 1858. The university serves more than 3,000 students through the College of Arts and Sciences in Baldwin City; the School of Nursing at the Stormont-Vail HealthCare campus in Topeka; and the School of Professional and Graduate studies, with campuses in Overland Park, Topeka, Wichita, and Lee s Summit, Mo.