Record number of students to receive UNL degrees at May 4-5 ceremonies

Released on 04/24/2012, at 2:00 AM
Office of University Communications
University of Nebraska–Lincoln

WHEN: Friday, May. 4, 2012, through May. 5, 2012

WHERE: Bob Devaney Sports Center (graduate and baccalaureate ceremonies), Lied Center for Performing Arts (Law)

Lincoln, Neb., April 24th, 2012 —
Kwame Dawes
Kwame Dawes
Gen. C. Robert
Gen. C. Robert "Bob" Kehler
Jeffrey Toobin
Jeffrey Toobin

            The University of Nebraska-Lincoln will grant degrees to more than 2,800 students at commencement exercises May 4 and 5. This will mark the largest graduating class in UNL history, topping the previous high of 2,663 in May 2011.

Chancellor Harvey Perlman will preside at the ceremonies at the Bob Devaney Sports Center for recipients of master's and doctoral degrees at 3 p.m. May 4, and for recipients of baccalaureate degrees at 9:30 a.m. May 5. Kwame Dawes, professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of the Prairie Schooner at UNL, will address the May 4 postgraduate ceremony. Gen. C. Robert "Bob" Kehler, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command at Offutt Air Force Base, will address the baccalaureate ceremony.

            College of Law commencement exercises begin at 3 p.m. May 5 at the Lied Center for Performing Arts. Jeffrey Toobin, a staff writer for the New Yorker and senior analyst for CNN, will give the address. Susan Poser, dean of the college, will preside.

            Dawes joined the UNL faculty as a Chancellor's Professor in 2011 and took the helm of the Prairie Schooner, UNL's quarterly literary magazine that for the past 85 years has published the fiction, poetry, essays and reviews of talented writers of all levels. He is the author of 16 poetry collections, three works of fiction, and several anthologies, produced plays, and books of literary criticism and aesthetics, not counting forthcoming works. His long list of accomplishments includes a 2009 Emmy Award for a multimedia documentary project on HIV/AIDS in Jamaica. This spring, he received a prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fellowship to support his work on the poem cycle, "August: A Quintet," based on the work of August Wilson, an American playwright and Pulitzer Prize winner whose work illustrated the African-American experience in the 20th century.

            Kehler is responsible for the plans and operations for all U.S. forces conducting strategic deterrence and Department of Defense space and cyberspace operations. He has commanded at the squadron, group, wing and major command levels, and has a broad range of operational and command tours in units with ICBM, space and missile warning missions. Prior to his assignment at USSTRATCOM, Gen. Kehler commanded Air Force Space Command.

            Toobin is one of the most recognized and admired legal journalists in the country, and is the author of several critically acclaimed, best-selling books. His most-recent book, "The Nine: Inside the Secret World of the Supreme Court" (Doubleday, 2007), spent more than four months on the New York Times best-seller list and earned the 2008 J. Anthony Lukas Prize for Nonfiction from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University. He is working on a sequel, "The Oath: The Obama White House v. the Supreme Court," to be published in September. Previously, Toobin served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Brooklyn. He also served as an associate counsel in the Office of Independent Counsel Lawrence E. Walsh, an experience that provided the basis for his first book, "Opening Arguments: A Young Lawyer's First Case -- United States v. Oliver North."

            All ceremonies are free and open to the public. UNL officials encourage those planning to attend the baccalaureate ceremonies May 5 to use the 27th Street entrance to Nebraska Innovation Campus and park in the paved lots east of the Devaney Center. Handicap accessible shuttle buses will be available for easy access to the Devaney Center entrance. Handicap permit parking will be available on the north side of the Devaney Center.

            A drop-off area for graduates and mobility-restricted guests will be available on the south side of the Devaney Center. Sign-language interpreters for hearing-impaired individuals will be provided through the HuskerVision screens. Reserved seats for guests who are ambulatory restricted will be available next to the stage on the arena floor, as well as in Section B-11. Guests in wheelchairs will be seated on the northeast corner of the arena floor. Because of security concerns, parcels, handbags and camera bags will be subject to search.

            The May 5 baccalaureate commencement exercises will be Web-streamed live from the Devaney Center through a link at the UNL website,

Writer: Tom Simons, University Communications, 402-472-8514