More than 5,000
students receiving undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees
are expected to participate in the annual pageantry as UIC holds its
commencement ceremony in the Pavilion.
Illinois President James Stukel and Interim Chancellor Sylvia Manning
will host a reception for graduates and their guests in a tent in
Lot 11, on Harrison Street east of the Pavilion, starting at 8:15
commencement speaker is former Governor James R. Thompson. He is also
the first recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Distinguished Public
Service. Thompson has been serving the citizens of Illinois for
more than 40 years, including an unprecedented four terms as governor.
Thompson was a great supporter of public education. Thompson increased
funding for higher education, with colleges and universities receiving
hundreds of millions of dollars in new facilities. He also expanded
financial aid and implemented new programs to improve minority achievement
in higher education.
During his time
in office, Thompson placed great emphasis on economic development.
He led trade missions, opened foreign trade and tourism offices, and
encouraged closer links between business and educational institutions
to prepare workers and develop new technologies.
"We are pleased
to present this award to Governor James Thompson in recognition of
his more than the four decades of service to the people of Illinois,"
This year's student
speaker is Rajeev Garg, a biological sciences major who graduated
from St. Bede Academy in Peru, IL. Garg will also be awarded the 2000
Donald and Leah Riddle Prize, which honors an outstanding graduating
remarks are President Stukel, Interim Chancellor Manning and University
Trustee Roger Plummer.
UIC will present
two honorary doctorates of humane letters. The recipients are:
former city official, parliamentarian and teacher, who served for
20 years as an independent alderman in the 5th Ward. Despres was
a key figure in civic improvements, education, and ethics and good
explorer, diver and fossil hunter. Hendrickson is most widely known
for discovering Sue, the largest and most complete Tyrannosaurus
rex fossil ever found. Although not formally trained, Hendrickson
became prolific in her chosen profession and highly respected by
colleagues, universities and museums.
of Illinois Alumni Achievement Awards will be presented to cancer
researcher Emil Freireich (M.D. '49) and associate professor
of social work Mary Nelums (M.S. '75 and Ph.D. '88).
of Illinois Alumni Association Distinguished Service Award will
be presented to businessman William Merchantz (B.A. '79).
students, the University of Illinois at Chicago is the largest and
most diverse university in the Chicago area. UIC is home to the
largest medical school in the United States and is one of only 88
national Research I universities. Located just west of Chicago's
Loop, UIC is a vital part of the educational, technological and
cultural fabric of the area.