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UNL Announce

Fall commencement to feature nearly 1,500 grads

UNL graduates wait for ceremonies to begin for the 2011 spring commencement.
UNL graduates wait for ceremonies to begin for the 2011 spring commencement.

Commencement exercises for nearly 1,500 graduates are scheduled at UNL on Dec. 16 and 17.

Graduate commencement exercises, including doctoral hooding, begin at 3 p.m. Dec. 16 for students earning doctoral and master’s degrees. Undergraduate exercises begin at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 17. Both ceremonies will be at Bob Devaney Sports Center. The College of Law will have a separate hooding and commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. Dec. 16 in the Hamann Auditorium of Ross McCollum Hall.

Harvey Perlman, UNL chancellor, will preside over all three ceremonies.

Alberto Ibarguen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, will deliver the undergraduate commencement address. He also will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters. Charles Wood, Lewis Lehr/3M University Professor of Biological Sciences and professor of biochemistry at UNL and director of the Nebraska Center for Virology, will address the graduate commencement. Cheryl Zwart, magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, will address the law commencement.

All ceremonies are free and open to the public, and tickets are not required. The ceremonies will be Web-streamed live from the Devaney Center through a link at the UNL website, http://www.unl.edu. Parking is free.

Because of security concerns, parcels, handbags and camera bags will be subject to search.

Ibarguen leads an organization dedicated to promoting informed and engaged communities through journalism excellence, support for arts and culture, and development of new ways to engage citizens through digital media experiences. The former publisher of award-winning newspapers, he has been honored for his work to protect journalists in Latin America. He has served on numerous corporate, philanthropic, cultural and civic boards. He is a graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer.

Wood’s laboratory has been involved in the study of the molecular biology of HIV and a recently identified human herpesvirus associated with Kaposi’s sarcoma called KSHV. Wood was instrumental in helping UNL establish the Nebraska Center for Virology in 2000, developing the initial and subsequent grants.

Wood’s laboratory has attracted a significant number of grants including a five-year $5.5 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to support the Nebraska Center for Virology and a five-year $3.4 million NIH grant to study the transmission of HHV8 and KSHV to children with the goal of developing intervention and prevention strategies. Wood joined UNL in 1994 from the University of Miami. He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Kansas, two master’s degrees and a doctorate from Columbia University.

Zwart began serving as a federal magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court of Nebraska in January 2010. A native of South Dakota, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of South Dakota in 1980, and obtained her law degree with high distinction from the University of Nebraska College of Law in 1988. She focused on civil litigation while working at Knudsen Law Firm as associate and partner until 2001. She also served as a mediator in personal injury, contract, and employment disputes. While working at Knudsen, she served as an adjunct professor at the University of Nebraska College of Law, teaching civil clinic and pretrial litigation. In 2001 she began working as a law clerk for Judge David Piester, whom she succeeded upon his retirement in 2009. In addition to her many law clerk duties, she worked on the pro se docket and served on the court’s Continuity of Operations Plan Committee and Docket and Local Rules Committee. She also continued to work as an adjunct professor, facilitator, and mentor at the NU College of Law.

A drop-off area for graduates and mobility-restricted guests will be available on the south side of the Devaney Center. Handicap-accessible shuttle buses will be available for easy access to the Devaney Center entrance and handicap permit parking will be available on the north side of the building. Closed captioning for people with hearing impairment will be provided through the HuskerVision screens. Handicap seating is available on the arena floor and in section B-11. Event attendants are on hand to direct guests.

— Kim Hachiya, University Communications