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Commencement To Be Held May 13

By Malisa Hyland
UW-RF University Communications

MAY 5, 2006--The University of Wisconsin-River Falls will hold two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 13 in the Robert P. Knowles Physical Education and Recreation Center.

Graduates of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, the College of Business and Economics and Graduate Studies are scheduled at 9:30 a.m., and the graduates of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education and Professional Studies are scheduled at 2 p.m.

Chancellor Don Betz will be conferring the degrees to more than 600 bachelor's and 76 master's candidates.

Recognized at the ceremony will be the 2006 Distinguished Teacher, Nate Splett, agricultural economics professor and interim dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Animal Science. Splett teaches introductory agricultural economics, advanced microeconomic theory, agricultural law, farm management and horticultural management. Along with teaching, he has received several agricultural grants and his research has been published in journals including Agribusiness, Agriculture Financial Review, Journal of Dairy Science and others. Splett was also awarded Advisor of the Year in 2005.

Commencement speakers are from the student body. Selected to address their peers, professors and guests at the ceremonies are: Michelle Dodge, from Trego, Wis., majoring in speech communication with a professional/organizational communication emphasis and a minor in public relations, and Thomas O'Hern, of Maplewood, Minn., a science in education graduate student.

Dodge's speech, titled "To Believe in Yourself is to Believe in Opportunity," will be given at the 2 p.m. ceremony, and O'Hern's speech, titled "University Greatness," will be given at the 9:30 a.m. commencement ceremony.

Graduating senior James W. King, an economics major from River Falls, will sing the national anthem and the UW-River Falls Pledge Song.

The 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, William T. Boehm, Ph.D., and the late Dr. Donald Babbitt, will also be recognized at the commencement ceremonies.

Boehm, a 1969 graduate of UW-River Falls, is senior vice president and president of manufacturing at Cinncinnati-based Kroger Cos. After graduating from UW-River Falls with a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics, he attended Purdue University where he earned both his masters' and doctorate in agricultural economics. Boehm has a longstanding involvement with the National FFA organization and Alpha Gamma Rho Fraternity, which have recognized him for his contributions to agriculture and the food industry.

Babbitt, a 1942 graduate of UW-River Falls, was an international pioneer in pediatric radiology. He received his M.D. degree from the Marquette University School of Medicine in 1946 and held professorships at the Medical College of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Babbitt's research was instrumental in the discovery of pancreaticobiliary maljunction, a disease of the pancreas, and he was known as the world's leading expert in this area. He was committed to providing children with excellent medical care regardless of health insurance status. Babbitt's wife, Dr. Katherine Babbitt, will accept the award on his behalf.


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