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May 03, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

SRU stages commencement May 18

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -Slippery Rock University will graduate nearly 1,600 students when it hosts spring commencement ceremonies at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., May 18 in Morrow Field House.

Tickets, required for admission, have been distributed to graduating students for re-distribution to their family and friends. For those without tickets, remote site seating will be available in the Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center and the Advanced Technology and Science Hall. The ceremony also will be streamed live via the Internet. To connect to the broadcast, visit the SRU homepage,, and then click the "Commencement" link.

Thom Cobb, SRU associate professor of dance and this year's recipient of the 2013 President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, will address the 10:30 a.m. graduates, including doctoral and master's degree recipients along with those graduating from the College of Health, Environment and Science and the College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts.

Benjamas Jirasakuldech, associate professor in SRU's School of Business and the 2013 recipient of the President's Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement, will address the 2 p.m. ceremony, which includes graduates in the College of Business, Information and Social Scieens and the College of Education.

Cobb, who join the SRU faculty in 1978, was honored at SRU's spring Academic Honors Convocation for his dedication to teaching, his participatory and engaging pedagogy, innovative classroom practices and his ability to always put students first.

Jirasakuldech, who joined the faculty in 2008, was also honored at the convocation for her research titled "Financial disclosure, investor protection and stock market behavior; an international comparison," published in the Review of Quantitative Finance and Accounting. The work examined the relation between financial opacity, investor protection and stock market behavior for 16 countries.

Cheryl Norton, SRU president, will lead the commencement ceremonies and confer the appropriate degrees. John Hicks, vice chair of the SRU Council of Trustees, will bring greetings from the trustees at both sessions.

Wilma Cavill, the longest-serving faculty member at SRU and in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, will serve as grand marshal and open and close the proceedings. Cavill was recently honored for her 55 years of service to SRU.

Philip Way, SRU provost and vice president for academic affairs, will present the graduating candidates for their degrees.

Lt. Col. Joseph Alessi, professor of military science and head of SRU's Army ROTC program, will administer the second lieutenant oath-of-office to nine cadets, inducting them into the U.S. Army as part of the ceremony. An ROTC color guard will open the ceremonies.

Kimberly Hudak Jones, a 1996 SRU graduate and president of the SRU Alumni Association, will induct the graduates into the association, and the SRU Men's Quartet, will offer both the "Star-Spangled Banner" and the "SRU Alma Mater." The SRU Brass Quintet will offer musical selections.

A reception for graduates and their guest is planned from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Smith Student Center Ballroom. Morning graduates and their guests are invited to join the reception following their commencement and those attending the afternoon ceremony are invited to attend before the event.

Commencement rehearsal for both morning and afternoon graduates is at 1:30 p.m., May 17, in the field house. Commencement cards, required for the ceremony, will be distributed.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.