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Ohio Wesleyan University to Hold 164th Commencement Ceremony May 11

May 5, 2008

DELAWARE, OHIO – Ohio Wesleyan University will hold its 164th commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. May 11 at Phillips Glen outside of Phillips Hall, 50 S. Henry St. The keynote speaker will be Allen C. Steere, M.D., whose research resulted in the discovery of Lyme disease. The event will be streamed online at stream.owu.edu.

In addition to awarding more than 400 student diplomas, Ohio Wesleyan also will confer two honorary degrees during this year’s ceremony: a Doctor of Science degree to Steere and a Doctor of Laws degree to Scott D. Sagan, Ph.D., a professor of political science and co-director of Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation.

On May 10, Ohio Wesleyan will hold two additional events to recognize and honor its 2008 graduates. Both events will be held in Gray Chapel at University Hall, 61 S. Sandusky St.

At 11 a.m. May 10, Ohio Wesleyan’s Phi Beta Kappa Chapter will initiate 43 members of the Class of 2008 into the national academic honor society. Only 10 percent of U.S. colleges and universities have Phi Beta Kappa chapters, and they admit approximately 10 percent of the nation’s liberal arts students—or about one senior student for every 100 nationwide—to membership.

At 8 p.m. May 10, Ohio Wesleyan will hold an interfaith baccalaureate ceremony. This time of worship and reflection is created and implemented by graduating seniors with guidance from the Ohio Wesleyan Chaplain’s Office. The theme for this year’s baccalaureate is Eleanor Roosevelt’s quotation, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”

“Our Class of 2008 has experienced many ‘darker’ issues,” Robyn Case and Matthew Laferty, co-chairs of Baccalaureate 2008, told the campus, including the war in Iraq, genocide in Darfur, shootings at Virginia Tech, and hurricanes in New Orleans.

“We have responded to those challenges by ‘lighting many candles,’ ” they said, noting such campus activities as “Rock for Relief,” “Relay for Life,” and expanded Spring Break Mission Week teams. They also noted the activities of campus organizations, including the Student Initiative for International Development (SIID) and STAND (formerly known as Students Taking Action Now: Darfur), which shares information about genocide and human injustices.

The Roosevelt quotation “relates to Ohio Wesleyan’s motto from Psalm 36: ‘In Your Light, we see The Light,’ ” Case and Laferty said. “Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote seems particularly appropriate for our baccalaureate reflection and celebration.”

Ohio Wesleyan University is an undergraduate liberal arts college that transforms the lives of its students through a combination of rigorous academics, mentoring relationships, and real-world experiences. Featured in the book “Colleges That Change Lives,” the private university’s 1,850 students come from 40 states and 45 countries. Visit www.owu.edu for more information.