SPOKANE, Wash. — Washington State University Spokane will celebrate its largest class of graduates when diplomas are handed out Friday, May 10, at WSU Spokane’s 12th commencement ceremony.

The program, which includes students from the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing, begins at 2 p.m. at the Spokane Opera House. For more details see ICN/WSU College of Nursing news release.

Robert C. Bates, WSU’s new provost and academic vice president, will serve as the commencement speaker. Before coming to WSU, Bates served Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University as dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and professor of microbiology. He holds a bachelor’s in biology from Lewis and Clark College, a master’s degree in bacteriology and public health from WSU, and a doctorate in virology from Colorado State University.

Charles Hall, a graduate receiving a bachelor’s in nursing from WSU and president of the Association of Intercollegiate Nursing Students, will serve as student speaker. Hall is the recipient of the Spirit of Nursing Award, sponsored by the Army Nurse Corps in cooperation with the National Student Nurses Association, and the WSU President’s Award. He has received the Reserve Officer Association Medal of Excellence, which recognizes naval ROTC midshipmen who have demonstrated positive attitude, excellence in attitude, academics and military aptitude. The evening of the commencement ceremony, Hall will be commissioned as an active duty officer in the U.S. Navy.

WSU Spokane will honor 239 students earning undergraduate and graduate degrees in architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, construction management, criminal justice, exercise science, engineering management, health policy and administration, nutrition, speech and hearing sciences, and technology management, including 11 receiving the post-graduate school psychology certification from WSU and Eastern Washington University. The master’s and doctoral degrees being awarded at this ceremony bring the total at WSU Spokane to more than 1,000.

Sixty-six students will be receiving the Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) degree. Pharmacy students are entering an excellent job market, with average starting salaries of $72,000 to $75,000 per year in a highly competitive market, given the national shortage of pharmacists; they’re often offered signing bonuses and student loan repayment benefits.

The graduation also honors 158 students receiving bachelor’s and 15 receiving master’s degrees in nursing from the Intercollegiate College of Nursing/WSU College of Nursing and its consortium partners EWU, Gonzaga University and Whitworth College.

Twelve EWU students earning master’s degrees in communication disorders who have studied in the joint WSU-EWU program will also be granted degrees at this commencement ceremony.

Student honors being recognized during the ceremony include:

–Jonell Block, Outstanding Graduate Student, Speech and Hearing Sciences
–Fadwa Bouachrine, WSU President’s Award
–Kelly Curry, Top Fifth-Year Student, Construction Management
–Tara Jeanne Cushner, Outstanding Undergraduate Student, Nursing, WSU
–Charles Hall, Spirit of Nursing Award and WSU President’s Award, WSU
–Anne M. Hanenburg, Outstanding Senior in Landscape Architecture
–Xiaohui (Dorothy) Huo, WSU Association of Women Faculty’s Outstanding Woman in Graduate Studies, International Merit Award, Thomas S. Foley Institute Burlington Northern Graduate Fellow, Wiley Exposition of Scholarship and Research First Place, Social and Administrative Sciences Division
–Marc Andrew Lange, WSU President’s Award
–Amber Lee McDonald, Clinical Excellence Award, Nursing, WSU
–Stefanie Marie Powell, Outstanding Senior in Interior Design
–Leandra Thompson, 2001 Student Distinguished Leadership Award from the Design Build Institute of America

Notes to photographers and assignment editors:
–1-1:20 p.m.: Selected students available for interviews (see brief profiles below)
–1:20 p.m.-4 p.m.: Students are not available for interviews; robing and ceremony in progress
–1:50 p.m.: Students begin march into the Opera House across the breezeway, coming from the southwest quadrant of the Ag Trade Center
–2 p.m.: Faculty wearing full regalia will march into the Opera House led by bagpipers just behind the students
–Approximately 3:50 p.m.: Cougar mascot Butch comes onto the Opera House stage at the close of the ceremony to lead the recessional off; Butch stands at the door to greet the exiting graduates; great “high five” shots with students and families.
–4 p.m.: A post-commencement reception will be held at the Riverpoint campus in the lobby of the new Health Sciences Building (310 N. Riverpoint Blvd.), with Butch also there for pictures.

Students will be available for live interviews, 1-1:20 p.m., in the Opera House breezeway. A tip sheet with descriptions of a few of those students can be found at www.wsunews.wsu.edu/releases4/bct101.htm.