Iowa State University commencement events set for Friday and Saturday

AMES, Iowa -- An estimated 3,367 students -- the most in the last decade -- will receive degrees from Iowa State University at the conclusion of spring semester, and many of them will participate in commencement events this weekend.

Graduate commencement

An estimated 130 doctoral and 392 master's students will be honored at the graduate commencement Friday, May 6. It begins at 7:30 p.m. in Stephens Auditorium. Sharron Quisenberry, vice president for research and economic development, will address the graduates. Quisenberry is recognized internationally for her research in the area of host plant resistance to insects and insect-plant interactions.

Veterinary medicine ceremony


At noon Saturday, May 7, also in Stephens Auditorium, an anticipated 142 students will receive their doctor of veterinary medicine (DVM) degrees, including the first graduates in Iowa State's cooperative program with the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Dr. Michael Cates, a veterinarian who directs the interdisciplinary Master of Public Health program at Kansas State University, Manhattan, will address the graduates. Cates is a member of the board of directors of the One Health Commission, a collaborative multidisciplinary effort to improve the health of humans, animals and the environment. This winter, the commission moved its home to Iowa State's Nutrition and Wellness Research Center.

Undergraduate commencement

An estimated 2,703 students will receive their bachelor's degrees during the undergraduate ceremony at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Hilton Coliseum. This event will include a short performance by the 30-member choir from Simon Estes Music High School, Cape Town, South Africa, which is touring Iowa this month.

Tickets are not needed for any of the ceremonies. A live video stream of each ceremony will be available on the registrar's commencement website.

Honorary degrees


Iowa State will confer two honorary degrees at the undergraduate ceremony. Chemist Harold Scheraga will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree for his research contributions and his teaching and mentoring record. Scheraga, a member of the Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y., faculty since 1947 (emeritus since 1992), is a pioneer in the field of protein conformation. He helped develop the calculations that determine the structure and dynamics of proteins. Those calculations are essential to current research in drug design.

Physicist and former faculty member Robert Shelton will receive an honorary Doctor of Science degree for his pioneering work in superconductivity and magnetism, and for his leadership in higher education. Shelton is president of the University of Arizona, Tucson. He previously was provost at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and an Iowa State faculty member (1978 to 1987).

Shelton will give the address at the undergraduate ceremony.

College events

The colleges will honor their own graduates during separate receptions or convocations May 6-7. A complete list of college events is on the registrar's website.

This summer is the second year Iowa State will not hold a commencement ceremony at the end of summer term in early August. Students expecting to complete degrees this summer may participate in either the May or December graduation events.