Iowa State University commencement set for Dec. 19-20

AMES, Iowa -- An estimated 1,601 students will receive degrees from Iowa State University during winter commencement events Dec. 19-20.

The undergraduate ceremony will begin at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 20, in Hilton Coliseum, where an estimated 1,246 students will receive bachelor's degrees. Kenneth Quinn, president of the World Food Prize Foundation in Des Moines and a former United States Ambassador to Cambodia, will address the graduates. Quinn also will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Iowa State in recognition of his public leadership and humanitarian service to the state, nation and world, spanning four decades.

Quinn has served as president of the World Food Prize Foundation since 2000. A veteran of the U.S. State Department, Quinn was a rural development officer in Vietnam, member of Secretary of State Henry Kissinger's national security staff at the White House, special assistant to Ambassador Richard Holbrooke in Asia, member of the U.S. Mission to the United Nations in Vienna and U.S. Ambassador to Cambodia (1996-99). He played a key role in exposing Cambodia's Khmer Rouge atrocities of the mid 1970s and helping end them.

From 1978 to 1982, in a federal-state exchange program, Quinn served as special assistant to Iowa Gov. Robert Ray. He directed the Indochinese resettlement program and served as executive director of Iowa SHARES, which sent medical personnel, supplies and food from Iowa to Cambodia.

Graduate ceremony

The graduate commencement ceremony will be at 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 19, in Stephens Auditorium. An anticipated 246 master's students and 109 Ph.D. students will receive their degrees.

Ted Okiishi, interim vice president for research and economic development and former associate dean for research and outreach in the College of Engineering, will address the graduates.

Okiishi held the associate dean post for 12 years prior to his 2007 retirement. He joined ISU's mechanical engineering faculty in 1967. A native of Honolulu, he earned bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees from Iowa State.

Tickets are not required for either graduation ceremony.

Some of ISU's colleges will honor their graduating students during their own ceremonies and receptions. A complete list of commencement events is online.