Southern Illinois University Edwardsville Interim Chancellor Stephen Hansen will oversee the 2016 Spring Commencement exercises on Friday and Saturday, May 6 and 7 for 1,850 eligible graduates. The first of four exercises will begin at 6:30 p.m. Friday in the Vadalabene Center on campus.
Thelma Mothershed Wair will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. The SIUE alumna has spent her life championing diversity efforts. In 1957, Mothershed Wair attended Central High School in Little Rock, Ark., as one of the Little Rock Nine. This followed the landmark Brown vs. the Board of Education decision in which it was determined that state-sanctioned segregation of public schools was a violation of the 14th Amendment and was therefore unconstitutional.
After making her historic footprint, Mothershed Wair continued her education through the SIU system. She earned a bachelor’s in home economics from SIU Carbondale in 1964. She achieved a master’s in guidance and counseling from SIUE in 1970 and completed an administrative certificate in education from the University in 1972.
Camille Emig-Hill is being honored with the University’s Distinguished Service Award. She achieved a bachelor’s in mass communications and journalism in 1972 and a master’s in business administration in 1977. She began her career in business communications with Ralston Purina. Later, she worked for 30 years at Anheuser-Busch, where she retired as director of human resources shared services.
In the late 1990s, Emig-Hill joined the SIUE Department of Mass Communications Alumni Advisory Board. During her tenure, she set up an endowment in the name of her late husband, Robert Emig, who was a 1971 SIUE mass communications alum. In 2006, Emig-Hill joined the School of Business Advisory Board and continues to serve as a member of that group.
The festivities begin Friday night with the Graduate School, School of Business and School of Nursing students receiving their degrees. Nathan Wiederholt, who is earning a bachelor’s in nursing, is the student speaker for Friday’s session.
Ceremonies resume at 8:30 a.m. Saturday with the Graduate School and School of Education, Health and Human Behavior. The morning student speaker is Tarsha Moore, who is receiving a master’s in education/college student personnel administration.
The Saturday afternoon ceremony begins at 12:30 p.m. with the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS) followed at 5 p.m. by the School of Pharmacy, College of Arts and Science graduate students and the School of Engineering. The student speakers will be Mariah Huelsmann, who is earning a bachelor’s in anthropology, during the afternoon session, and Ollie Langhorst, who is receiving a bachelor’s in mechanical engineering, closing the day.
Photo: SIUE Interim Chancellor Stephen Hansen congratulates a graduate at the 2015 fall commencement ceremony.