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Last modified: Wednesday, December 4, 2002

Walker to address IU's 2002 winter commencement

George E. Walker, who will retire in 2003 after serving as Indiana University's vice president for research and dean of the University Graduate School for more than a decade, will address graduates at IU's winter commencement, to be held Dec. 21 at 9 a.m. in Assembly Hall.

A total of 2,013 graduates are eligible to participate in the event. That figure includes all degree candidates for December, as well as graduate students whose degrees have been awarded on a monthly basis from September to November.

Conferral of degrees will be led by IU President Myles Brand, assisted by Sharon Stephens Brehm, vice president for academic affairs and chancellor of the Bloomington campus, and by the deans of the schools. This will be Brand's last commencement as IU's president, before he leaves the university to become president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

The Rev. Linda C. Johnson, associate rector of the Trinity Episcopal Church, will deliver the invocation. To induct IU's newest graduates, Fred Eichhorn, president of the IU Board of Trustees, will represent the university. Robert L. Forste Jr., chair of the Indiana Alumni Association, will represent the alumni. Jacob J. Steinmetz, a representative of the IU Student Alumni Association, will represent the class. Leading the musical accompaniment will be Gwyn Richards, dean of the IU School of Music, who will lead the graduates in singing the alma mater and the national anthem.

Walker, a faculty member at IU since 1970, led the Office of Research and the University Graduate School through an extraordinary period of change, growth and success. Under his leadership, external research funding at IU has increased from $113 million to $293 million. Several new research centers were created, including the Center for Genomics and Bioinformatics and the Center on Congress. Walker also helped formalize an Office of Technology Transfer, which evolved into the Advanced Research and Technology Institute (ARTI).

Walker recently entered his fourth decade in higher education; he joined the IU faculty as an assistant professor of physics. During his academic career he has directed 11 doctoral dissertations, published more than 54 articles in refereed physics journals, and delivered numerous invited talks at international conferences and workshops.

A fellow of the American Physical Society, Walker was twice awarded the Graduate Teaching Award for outstanding contributions to graduate education by IU's physics graduate students. Before being named to his current position, Walker served as associate dean in the College of Arts and Sciences and as chair of the Physics Department.

Walker received his bachelor's degree from Wesleyan University in 1962, and his master's degree and Ph.D. degree in theoretical physics from Case Institute of Technology in 1964 and 1966. Upon graduation, Walker held postdoctoral positions at Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory and at Stanford University before coming to IU. He will retire from IU in June.

More information about the winter commencement ceremony is available on the Web at http://www.indiana.edu/~ceremony/december_2002_information.htm.