CONTACT: Stanford University News Service (415) 723-2558
Stanford to confer nearly 5,000 degrees at commencement
STANFORD -- Stanford will confer an expected 4,935 degrees at the 105th Commencement Exercises, scheduled to start at 9:15 a.m. Sunday, June 16, in Stanford Stadium.
Alumna Mae Jemison, the first woman of color to become an astronaut, will be the featured speaker. President Gerhard Casper also will deliver remarks and present the Cuthbertson, Gores and Dinkelspiel awards for outstanding teaching and service at commencement, which usually attracts about 30,000 guests.
No tickets are required. The event starts with the colorful undergraduate procession ("wacky walk"), graduate student procession and faculty procession.
Mid-June is traditionally a hot time of year. Attendees are encouraged to wear hats, and cold water will be available at numerous locations in the stadium.
After the main commencement exercises, individual schools and departments will hold diploma award ceremonies starting at 12:30 p.m. in various campus locations. Most of the school and departmental ceremonies conclude by 2 p.m.
On Saturday, June 15, a number of Commencement Weekend events are scheduled.
The Rev. J. Alfred Smith Sr., the senior pastor of the Allen Temple Baptist Church in Oakland, will be the featured speaker at the annual baccalaureate service, which starts at 9:30 a.m.
The multi-faith celebration is held outdoors at the North Portal of the Inner Quad. No tickets are required. Typically, the event draws 4,000 to 5,000 worshippers, most of them graduating seniors and advanced degree students and their families.
The baccalaureate also will feature spiritual readings by Dean Robert Gregg of Memorial Church and student presidents, along with music and singing.
Smith's widely known church has grown from 1,000 members when he became pastor in 1970 to 4,000 members today. He recently was listed by Ebony magazine as one of the 15 greatest African American preachers in America, and the Oakland Tribune named him "outstanding citizen of the year."
He is a professor of preaching and Christian ministry at the American Baptist Seminary of the West and the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, Calif., and a visiting professor at Fuller Theological Seminary.
Immediately after the baccalaureate service, at about 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, the senior class plaque will be dedicated in the Main Quadrangle. At the ceremony, the senior class presidents will present items to be placed in a time capsule, which then will be buried under the class plaque.
University Provost Condoleezza Rice will address the graduates and their families.
At 11 a.m., the Class Day Luncheon will be held in Kennedy Grove, between the Bowman Alumni House and Tresidder Memorial Union. Speakers will be Patricia Jones, professor and chair of biological sciences; James Montoya, dean of undergraduate admissions and financial aid; and Tyrone Willingham, Stanford football coach. The luncheon is sponsored by the Stanford Alumni Association.
At 8:30 p.m. Saturday, the Alumni Association will sponsor a "night before" dance at Tresidder Union. Both the luncheon and dance require tickets. For more information call the Stanford Alumni Association at 725-9425.
Casper and his wife, Professor Regina Casper, psychiatry and behavioral sciences, will host graduates and their families at a reception starting at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at their campus house.
At various times on Saturday, the various student community groups ethnic, religious, etc. will hold individual graduation celebrations.
Two commencement-related events will take place Friday, June 14. The Phi Beta Kappa initiation and open meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. in Memorial Auditorium. The speaker will be biology Professor Robert L. Dorit of Yale University. The rededication of the restored Murray Harris Organ is scheduled for 8 p.m. in Memorial Church. Robert Bates, university organist, and Rodney Gehrke will perform. For ticket information call 725-2787.
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