Commencement season is upon us. Families are proud. Students are relieved to be finished, but eager to move on to jobs, advanced studies, perhaps travel. The atmosphere is charged with movement and anticipation.
We awarded degrees to 5,430 students on May 14, with 4,340 degrees conferred by IU President Adam Herbert and 967 by Purdue President Martin Jischke.
William Wylam, chairman, Electricore, Inc., and corporate director, Technology for Remy International, Inc., received an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from Purdue University.
Karl Zimmer Jr., former chair and CEO of Zimmer Paper Products, Inc., and former director of the Indiana Humanities Council, received an honorary IU Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Both gentlemen are well known to us at IUPUI.
Bill Wylam graduated from Purdue University in 1957 and has had a long and distinguished career with Delco Remy. On behalf of Delco Remy, Bill Wylam was instrumental in establishing the Electricore Consortium, an Indiana-based not-for-profit corporation which organizes public-private partnerships to conduct research and development projects in the area of advanced manufacturing and electric vehicle technologies. He has been the chairman of its Board of Directors since its inception. As a long-time member of the Dean’s Industry Advisory Council of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at IUPUI, Bill Wylam has shown exceptional commitment to the advancement of engineering education on our campus.
Although he is a native Hoosier, Karl Zimmer is not an alumnus of IU, nor does he have any other special connection to the university. Because he traveled extensively in connection with his business (Zimmer Paper Products), his establishing an endowed chair for the Indiana Center for Intercultural Communications in the IU School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI is an extension of his belief that a liberal arts education encourages appreciation for differences among cultures. We are very grateful that a man of his talents gives so much of himself to our campus, university, city, and state, and that his interest in the importance of intercultural understanding makes him such an effective ambassador for IU and IUPUI at home and abroad.
Bill Wylam and Karl Zimmer are representative of many other business and community leaders whose keen interest in lending their business and professional expertise to enhancing the educational experience of succeeding generations of future engineers, entrepreneurs, and other IUPUI graduates is truly inspirational.
And then there are the new graduates, who will now become IU or Purdue alums.
Brooke McAfee, for instance. The Valparaiso native played for the Jaguars women’s basketball team, which had its best season since IUPUI joined NCAA Division I. We finished 17-11 overall, and 11-5 in Mid-Continent Conference play.
Her coach, Shann Hart, only in her second season at IUPUI, was just named National Female Coach of the Year by the Black Coaches Association for guiding the Jaguars to one of the best turnarounds in the country in 2005-06.
As a graduating chemistry major in our Purdue School of Science, Brooke has enrolled at Purdue University, where she will pursue her dream of becoming a third-generation veterinarian in the McAfee family. She just received the NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship, established to encourage postgraduate education by rewarding the most accomplished student-athletes—those who have demonstrated significant athletic and academic achievements, campus involvement, and community service.
As Brooke and the rest of her Class of 2006 received their degrees, they were joined by the 258 new physicians our School of Medicine sent into practice, following a special ceremony in which they recited in unison the Physician’s Oath. More than half were matched to residency training programs in Indiana, while others will go to Harvard, Johns Hopkins, Stanford, and Yale. Nearly 45 percent will concentrate in primary care.
Ten graduating seniors received the newly established William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion, which honors students who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to their communities during their undergraduate years at IUPUI:
Ryan Cassidy, an elementary education major and Hawthorne Community Center volunteer; Alexis Larson, an exercise science major who led fitness classes for older adults and disabled children; Stacy Quasebarth, a visual communications major and Team Leader for America Reads; Dare Olonoh, a Kelley School of Business major, who began United Students, a community service club; Emily Puntenney, a math major and Girls Inc., volunteer; Kory Risner, a physical therapy major who tutors youth at the Christamore House and works with patients at the Rehab Hospital of Indiana; Matthew Randall, a communication studies major and Masarachia Scholar who volunteered with the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; Gina Rooks-Marqua, a social work major, who taught elementary school students peer mediation; Rebecca Salley, a health administration major, who was a mentor to 16 Sam Jones Service Scholars and president of the Alpha Phi Omega Service Fraternity; John Jeremy Webber, a physical geography major and student researcher who taught K-12 outreach programs associated with our Center for Earth and Environmental Science ecosystem restoration projects.
Service learning involves students in community service as part of academic course work. It aims both to enhance learning and foster active citizenship. IUPUI has made civic engagement a distinctive part of the educational experience on our campus and is proud that the Class of 2006 will be making a difference in their communities for years to come!
Charles R. Bantz