March 31, 2009

To the Class of 2009 and their Families:

We are quickly approaching the end of the academic year and the graduation of the Class of 2009.  The Commencement Ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 3, 2009 at 1:00 p.m.  Chair seating for the traditional campus outdoor ceremony will be provided on the lawn of the Eckley Quadrangle. We ask that guests be seated by 12:15 p.m. so that the procession of graduates and faculty can begin at 12:40 p.m. 

Our alumni speaker is business and civic leader Howard R. Fricke.  An insurance major in the Class of 1960, Mr. Fricke was honored for his "reputation for inspiring others" when he was inducted into the Kansas Business Hall of Fame in 2008.  For nearly 20 years he was chairman of Security Benefit Group, one of the mostly highly regarded companies in the financial services and retirement planning industry, where his leadership skills became legendary and the company was recognized as one of the 100 best to work for in America.  Mr. Fricke also held major civic positions in his career, including serving as Secretary of the Kansas Department of Administration and Secretary of Commerce in both Kansas and Illinois.  His address to the graduates is entitled "Hearing Voices."

The Commencement ceremony is outdoors, even in a light rain and cool temperatures, so please plan accordingly.  In the event of heavy rains or weather alerts, we will relocate the ceremony and reception to the Shirk Center.  Since seating in the Shirk Center is very limited, we are enclosing tickets for reserved seating in the Performance Arena with this mailing to the families of the graduates (students are receiving this information by e-mail).  Additional indoor seating venues and other important information are included in the enclosed brochure, which is also posted on the Web site for students and family viewing at this url:    Updated Commencement information, including many of the campus and organization activities that are scheduled for the weekend, will be posted on the Web site from now through May 3.  

Following the two-hour ceremony, join us for our traditional strawberries and scones reception on the Quad or in the Shirk Center Activity Area.  The faculty and staff who guided your student over the past few years will greet you at various sites, which will be identified by signs indicating the name of the department.  They join with me in celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2009 and offering their best wishes.  We all hope to see you May 3.



Richard F. Wilson