More than 1,000 to receive degrees

Saturday, May 10, 2008

After today, Stephanie Dambach will be the seventh person in her family to graduate from Southeast Missouri State University.

"There's my grandma and grandpa, my dad, two uncles, a great-aunt," she said, recounting the list. Her younger brother, who will be in the audience today, is also a student at Southeast.

Dambach will join more than 1,000 students for spring commencement at 2 p.m. today in the Show Me Center. Art Wallhausen, associate to the president, is the speaker.

An Honors Convocation at 10:30 a.m. in the Show Me Center will recognize 368 students. Communications professor Dr. Tamara Baldwin will speak.

Those receiving special recognition during today's ceremonies include 14 students with a perfect 4.0 grade point average; 12 "honors scholars," those who completed honors coursework and a senior research project; six students who will graduate with academic distinction for completing a special project with a faculty committee, department chair or dean; and members of the honor societies Phi Kappa Phi, Omicron Delta Kappa and Phi Eta Sigma.

Leslie Jones, associate professor of music, will sing during the ceremony, and the Southeast Chamber Orchestra will perform.

Besides Dambach, other graduates with interesting backgrounds include Claudia Masters, the first legally blind student to take only online classes, and Paul Sander, the former mayor of Jackson. DeEtta Vance has been working toward her degree for 22 years, generally taking one class at a time, and will graduate today with a bachelor of science degree in education, according to a news release.

"I was a little sad to leave all my friends, but I came home in December to student teach. It was a good transition. Now I'm ready to graduate and move on and start a new phase of my life," Dambach said.

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