The so-called "father of agricultural biotechnology" will speak at Southeast Missouri State University's commencement ceremony May 12 at the Show Me Center.
Dr. Jerry Caulder of Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., an alumnus of the school, has had a record of success in the life-science industry, Southeast officials said.
A native of Gideon, Mo., Caulder grew up on a cotton farm, which he continues to own and operate. Caulder is a founding partner, chairman and chief executive officer of several biotechnology companies dealing with agriculture, human health, medical devices and consumer products. He formerly chaired the Industrial Biotechnology Industry Association.
He has been profiled in various magazines and newspapers, including Forbes and USA Today. He is frequently quoted in the national media as an expert in life sciences.
A total of 897 undergraduates and 146 graduate students are scheduled to participate in the 2 p.m. commencement exercises.
An honors convocation is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. May 12 at the Show Me Center. Dr. Martin Jones, dean emeritus of the College of Liberal Arts, will present the honors convocation. Among the honors graduates, 59 will graduate summa cum laude, 73 will graduate magna cum laude, and 126 will graduate cum laude.
University officials say parking for commencement and honors ceremonies will be limited because of nearby construction. Shuttles will run from several other university parking lots to take commencement guests to and from their vehicles, school officials said.
For up-to-the-minute parking information, visitors are asked to tune to KDMC, 103.7 FM, between noon and 2:30 p.m. May 12. The broadcast will be provided courtesy of the student National Broadcasting Society. It will include parking information, directions and music, officials said.
Nineteen undergraduates will lead the graduating class with perfect 4.0 grade-point averages. They include Phyllis Amelunke of Chaffee, Mo.; Michael Nadeau of Perryville, Mo.; Nathan Ray of Cape Gir-ardeau; and Emily Seiler of Benton, Mo.
Several honors scholars will be recognized, too. They include Doris Dorlac and Christian Raschke, both of Cape Girardeau.
Eight students will graduate with academic distinction in their major department. They include Crystal McLain, Cynthia Ulrich and Dorlac, all of Cape Girardeau; and Nadeau.
Dr. Martha Zlokovich, who chairs Southeast's Faculty Senate, will serve as grand marshal for commencement.