To Graduates in the Class of 2014 and their Families

March 27, 2014

We are quickly approaching the end of the academic year and the Commencement ceremony for the Class of 2014. The ceremony will be held on Sunday, May 4, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. on The Kemp Commencement Plaza at State Farm Hall. Chair seating for the traditional campus outdoor ceremony will be provided on the lawn of the Eckley Quadrangle. We ask that guests be seated no later than 12:30 p.m. so the processional of graduates and faculty can begin. 

Our alumni speaker is Deanna Jent, a theatre major in the Class of 1984 who graduated magna cum laude from Illinois Wesleyan. Now a professor at Fontbonne University in St. Louis, Ms. Jent is an acclaimed director nominated six times for “Best Director” in the annual Kevin Kline Awards, winning last year for her production of Godspell. Recently named one of the 25 most influential people in St. Louis by Alive Magazine, Ms. Jent is the artistic director of Mustard Seed Theatre, where she often produces and directs plays about faith and social justice.

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 where seating is very limited. Four tickets for reserved seating in the Shirk Performance Arena are enclosed in this mailing for the families of the graduates, along with a brochure listing additional seating venues and other important information for all guests. Please note that a live webcast of the ceremony will be streamed on our website so that those who cannot attend can still watch the entire ceremony. Students are receiving this information by email and are advised to review the brochure and all future communications at  

Following the two-hour ceremony, join us for our traditional strawberries and scones reception on the Eckley Quadrangle or in the Shirk Center Activity Area. The faculty and staff who guided your son or daughter over the past few years will greet you at sites identified by signs indicating the name of the department. They join with me in celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2014 and offering their best wishes. We all hope to see you on May 4.



Richard F. Wilson