MTSU's Centennial Ends May 5th With 100,000th Undergrad Degree

Middle Tennessee State University officially ends its year-long centennial celebration by awarding its 100,000th undergraduate degree during the spring 2012 commencement ceremonies this coming Saturday, May 5th, at 9:00 in the morning and again at 2:00 that afternoon. 

Graduation Saturday, May 5th 

MTSU will again feature dual ceremonies and dual speakers beginning at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 5, in Murphy Center. More than 2,541 students are expected to receive their degrees that day, according to a report from the University’s Registrar’s Office.

The University’s 100,000th undergraduate degree will be presented 100 years after the doors of Middle Tennessee State Normal School opened in 1911 to educateTennessee’s teachers. In that century, MTSU has grown one of three small state schools with 125 students on 100 acres to Tennessee’s largest undergraduate institution with more than 26,400 students on 500-plus acres.

“Ourcommencement ceremonies are always special and significant, but these upcoming exercises mark the conclusion of a remarkable yearlong celebration of our Centennial,” said President Sidney A. McPhee. “It is fitting that we reach this important milestone as part of our commemoration of our founding.”

MTSU now boasts more than 111,000 degreed alumni, a tally that includes both undergraduate- and graduate-degree recipients.

Of the 2,541 set to receive degrees during the spring 2012 ceremonies, 2,103 are undergraduates and 438 are graduate students, including 350 master’s candidates, 72 education-specialist recipients and 12 doctoral candidates. Four graduate students also will receive graduate certificates.

Candidatesfrom the College of Graduate Studies, Jennings A. Jones College of Business and the College of Education and College of Mass Communication will receive their degrees in the morning ceremony. That afternoon, degrees will be conferred on candidates in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and the University College.

Dr. Emmert Addresses 9AM Commencement

Dr. Mark A. Emmert, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, will serve as the guest speaker for the 9 a.m. ceremony. Before he took the reins as the NCAA’s fifth president in October 2010, Emmert was president of his alma mater, the University of Washington.

He led that university to its standing as second among all public and private institutions in research funding with $1.3 billion in grants and contracts per year. During hissix-year tenure, the University of Washington also concluded a $2.6 billionfundraising campaign. Emmert also is president emeritus of the University of Washington.

Before returning to his alma mater, Emmert was chancellor of Louisiana State University; his administrative appointments in higher education include provost and chancellor at the University of Connecticut, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Montana State University and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Huang Addresses 2PM Ceremony

Dr. Ribo Huang, president of Guangxi Academy of Sciences in China, will speak to thegraduates at the 2 p.m. ceremony. Huang, who earned his doctoral degree in biotechnology from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, has devoted himself to the research of microbial biotechnology, enzyme engineering and the development of biotechnology products.

He has been working as a professor and a president of Guangxi Academy of Sciences since 1999 and is a highly active scientist involved in molecular enzyme technology. In addition to publishing numerous papers in international journals, Huang has been granted eight invention patents, three new-productcertificates and one new-medicine certificate in China. 

Huang is director of the National Engineering Research Center for Bioenergy and director of the China State Key Lab for Bioenergy & Enzyme Tech, and he also serves as vice president of the Guangxi Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

On commencement day, the University’s graduation committee stressed that MTSU students who participate will be required to stay for their entire scheduled ceremony. Each event should last about two hours, so graduation candidates planning celebration activities should be aware of this time commitment.

For more information about commencement, please visit the Records Office website at www.mtsu.edu/records/grad.shtml. Questions about graduation may be directed to the Records Office at 615-898-2600.

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