Western to present two honorary doctorates at May 7 commencement

CULLOWHEE – Western Carolina University will bestow honorary doctorates on two St. Louis residents and present a major alumni award as the university holds spring commencement exercises Saturday, May 7.

Commencement will begin at 2 p.m. in Ramsey Regional Activity Center. The ceremony is open to everyone and no tickets are required for admission. Approximately 840 students are candidates for undergraduate and graduate degrees, pending final examinations and review.

The recipients of honorary doctorates of humane letters, Blanton J. and Margaret S. Whitmire, are longtime benefactors of education, and established an endowed professorship in environmental sciences at Western in 1997. James F. Causby, recipient of the Alumni Award for Academic and Professional Achievement, is an icon in North Carolina education who now serves as executive director of the North Carolina Association of School Administrators.

Left: Blanton J. and Margaret S. Whitmire with Chancellor Bardo (center). Right: James F. Causby

Left: Blanton J. and Margaret S. Whitmire with Chancellor Bardo (center). Right: James F. Causby

Chancellor John W. Bardo will preside over commencement and deliver the charge to the degree candidates.

A required rehearsal for the graduating students will be held from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. the day of commencement in the main arena of the Ramsey Center. Graduating students will line up for the processional at 1 p.m. in the auxiliary gymnasium on the lower level, west side of Ramsey Center. The processional will begin at 2 p.m.

Receptions for degree candidates and their families and friends will be held in the Ramsey Center following commencement. Receptions for undergraduate students (recipients of bachelor’s degrees) will be held on the Ramsey Center concourse in a designated area for each college, while a reception for graduate students (master’s and doctoral degrees) will be held in the Ramsey auxiliary gymnasium.

Western’s Cat Tran shuttle service will be operating on commencement day. Spectators should enter the Ramsey Center through one of four upper concourse doors. Those with physical disabilities should use the northeastern upper entrance, adjacent to the stands of E.J. Whitmire Stadium.

There will be no access to the arena floor during the awarding of diplomas. A commercial photographer will photograph each graduate as the diploma is awarded, and will be available to take pictures after the ceremony.