It’s spring graduation season at local universities. The University of Evansville and the University of Southern Indiana conferred degrees and awards last weekend, while Ivy Tech Community College’s ceremony still is to come this weekend.
At USI, officials say 1,542 students were eligible to participate in commencement ceremonies, conducted May 5-6 at Screaming Eagles Arena. USI graduates came from 36 states and 17 countries. International students earning degrees totaled 57.
USI officials say 41 students were honored with summa cum laude honors, while 138 were magna cum laude, and 136 were cum laude.
Awards presented at USI’s ceremonies included:
- Marlene Shaw, Professor Emerita of Biology, received an Honorary Doctor of Science degree. Shaw was a USI faculty member from 1973 to 2009, and her contributions to USI included creating the annual Shaw Biology Lecture in 2011, with support from the USI Foundation.
- Richard Hunt, a world-renowned sculptor, received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree. Hunt has more than 150 public sculpture commissions in 24 states, as well as more than 150 solo art exhibitions displayed in more than 100 public museums around the world. Hunt in 2014 was commissioned to create an outdoor sculpture commemorating the 50th anniversary of USI’s founding, and his “From Our Past Toward Our Future” abstract piece sits near the southeast side of the main lawn of USI’s Quad.
At UE, 517 degrees were bestowed to 510 students during ceremonies held May 6 at the Ford Center.
UE also bestowed awards, including:
- Bill Bussing, Evansville attorney and Evansville Otters baseball club owner, and Sheila Huff, a longtime local educator who is now Director of Strategic Engagement with the Evansville Vanderburgh School Corporation, received Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degrees.
- Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke received the UE Presidential Medal of Honor. Winnecke, whose third and final term as mayor concludes at the end of 2023, is a 1982 UE alumnus.
- Amanda Ward received the 2023 Mable Dillingham Nenneker and Guthrie May Outstanding Senior Award.
- Professor of Religion Jim Ware was bestowed the 2023 Outstanding Teacher Award.
- Suresh Immanuel, Associate Dean and Professor of Civil Engineering, was named 2023 Eykamp Prize recipient.
Ivy Tech will hold its commencement at 7 p.m. Friday at the Ford Center. The Evansville campus will confer degrees and credentials to approximately 1,250 students.
Commencement speakers are State Rep. Cindy Ledbetter, who earned a nursing degree from Ivy Tech in 1999, and Ty Bernardt, who will be recognized as Outstanding Elementary Education graduating student.
Awards to be presented at Ivy Tech’s commencement include:
Gelina Mascoe, 2023 Distinguished Alumna. Born in La Gonave, Haiti, Mascoe founded Lumiere D’education Foundation, a charitable organization that provides free education to children in Haiti. She also oversees the operation of a school in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, providing free education to 170 children. Mascoe also founded the recently opened Haitian Center of Evansville, connecting Haitian immigrants to local resources. She works as a real estate agent with F.C. Tucker Emge.
Lu Porter, Benefactor of the Year Award. Porter has served Ivy Tech as a foundation board member for more than 27 years and has long collaboration with other Evansville organizations in many capacities.