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Susan Williams
University Communications

Last modified: Monday, December 8, 2008

IU celebrates winter commencement Dec. 20

1,760 IU Bloomington undergraduate and graduate students eligible to participate in ceremonies

Dec. 9, 2008

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Indiana University Bloomington will celebrate its 179th Commencement on Dec. 20 (Saturday) at 10 a.m. in Assembly Hall. The procession of students will begin at 9:15 a.m., and the commencement address will be given by Richard C. Atkinson.

Richard Atkinson

Richard Atkinson

Print-Quality Photo

Atkinson, president emeritus of the University of California, has enjoyed a long and distinguished career as an educator, administrator and scientist. He was leader of California's public university system from 1995 to 2003 after serving as chancellor of the San Diego campus for 15 years. Before his tenure at UC, Atkinson was director of the National Science Foundation, a position to which he was appointed in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter. He holds a Ph.D. from IU and the university also has awarded him an honorary doctoral degree.

IU President Michael A. McRobbie will preside over the commencement ceremony in which 1,760 students are eligible to participate. This number includes undergraduates as well as graduate students whose degrees were awarded during September and October, and those who are candidates for November and December degrees.

Following Atkinson's address, McRobbie will present to him the President's Medal. He then will confer an honorary Doctor of Science degree upon John R. Seffrin, executive vice president and chief staff officer of the American Cancer Society since 1992. Seffrin, has been called a visionary leader who has touched the lives of millions of Americans and people around the world in his campaign to prevent and control cancer. He was chairperson of the Department of Applied Health Science in IU's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation before assuming his current position.

The formal induction of new graduates into the IU Alumni Association will begin following the presentation of the honorary degree with McRobbie delivering a charge to the class. He will then confer degrees assisted by Karen Hanson, provost for the IU Bloomington campus, and by deans of the individual schools.

Reverend Stanley A. Drongowsky of the St. Paul Catholic Center will offer the invocation for the commencement. Patrick A. Shoulders, vice president of the Trustees of Indiana University, will represent the university during the induction of its newest graduates. Stephen C. Moberly, chair of the Indiana Alumni Association, will represent the alumni, and graduating senior Justin W. Brown, a representative of the IU Student Association, will represent the graduating class.

The Commencement Ensemble, comprised of musicians from the IU Jacobs School of Music, will provide accompaniment for the processional and recessional and also for The Star-Spangled Banner and Hail to Old IU.

For a biography on Richard C. Atkinson, go to

For a biography on John R. Seffrin, go to