Nearly 3,000 Kansas State University students are earning degrees in May. Commencement ceremonies start at Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus in Salina on Saturday, May 6, followed by ceremonies Friday, May 12, and Saturday, May 13, on the Manhattan campus.
The 2017 graduates are part of the 150th class to graduate from Kansas State University since the first class graduated in 1867.
Commencement speakers will include a National Medal of Science recipient, a Cerner Corp. executive and some longtime faculty members who are retiring at the end of the school year.
To be awarded will be nearly 2,300 bachelor’s, 570 master’s, about 80 doctorates, 109 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and four associate degrees. More than 330 students are earning degrees through K-State Global campus distance degree programs.
Ceremonies start at Kansas State Polytechnic at 10 a.m. May 6 in the Student Life Center. Stephen Lieber, founder of Helicopters Inc., based in St. Louis, will be the speaker.
Graduate degrees will be awarded May 12 on the Manhattan campus. The Graduate School ceremony will be at 1 p.m. in Bramlage Coliseum. KansasState University alumna Geraldine “Geri” Richmond will receive an honorary doctorate — one of the highest honors the university gives — at the ceremony and serve as commencement speaker. Richmond is presidential chair in science and professor of chemistry at the University of Oregon. She is a 2016 recipient of the National Medal of Science for her work to better understand the chemistry that occurs at a complex surface like liquid water. The research has relevance to environmental remediation, biomolecular assembly, atmospheric chemistry and alternative energy sources. Richmond earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Kansas State University.
Kansas Board of Regents member Dave Murfin, Wichita, will represent the board at commencement for the Graduate School and at the College of Veterinary Medicine ceremony, which will be at 3:30 p.m. May 12 in McCain Auditorium. The college’s speaker will be Kenneth Harkin, professor of clinical sciences.
On May 13, undergraduate colleges on the Manhattan campus will award degrees. The following is the schedule of ceremonies and speakers:
• College of Arts and Sciences, 8:30 a.m., Bramlage Coliseum. The speaker will be Anne K. Phillips, professor and associate department head of English.
• College of Architecture, Planning & Design, 10 a.m., McCain Auditorium. The speaker is Sue E. Yoakum, attorney and owner of Yoakum Law LLC,Kansas City, Missouri. The law practice specializes in legal services for architects and engineers. Yoakum earned a Bachelor of Architecture fromKansas State University before attending law school.
• College of Education, 11 a.m., Bramlage Coliseum. Commencement speaker is Linda P. Thurston, associate dean, who is retiring after 34 years of service to the college and university. Also at the ceremony, state Sen. Tom Hawk, Manhattan, will receive the college’s Dan and Cheryl Yunk Excellence in Educational Administration Award. Hawk spent 33 years with USD 383 Manhattan-Ogden, including as superintendent from 2000-2001, before transitioning to state government service.
• College of Business Administration, 12:30 p.m., Bramlage Coliseum. Kansas State University alumnus Randy Simms, senior vice president, chief legal officer and secretary of Cerner Corp., headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, will be the commencement speaker. Simms earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Kansas State University.
• College of Agriculture, 2:30 p.m., Bramlage Coliseum. Darryl Buchholz, the college’s associate director for extension and applied research, will be the commencement speaker. Buchholz earned his doctorate in 1980 from Kansas State University, returning in 1992 as a professor of agronomy and assistant director of agriculture and natural resources for K-State Research and Extension. He will retire at the end of the month.
• College of Human Ecology, 4:30 p.m., Bramlage Coliseum. Commencement speaker is Patrick Pesci, emeritus director of the college’s hotel and restaurant management program.
• College of Engineering, 6:30 p.m., Bramlage Coliseum. Charles “Chuck” Grier, president and CEO of UCI, will be the commencement speaker. UCI,Wichita, provides industrial construction services. Grier’s bachelor’s degree in construction science is from Kansas State University.
DVDs of the ceremonies may be ordered through the K-State Campus Store at 800-KSU-CATS or 785-532-6583.
Commissioning ceremonies for the university’s graduating Air Force and Army ROTC cadets will both be May 12 in the K-State Student Union. The Air Force ROTC ceremony will be at 9 a.m. in Forum Hall, while the Army ROTC ceremony will be at 10 a.m. in the Grand Ballroom.