Stephens College, Columbia College commencements to be held Saturday

Tuesday, May 1, 2012 | 5:51 p.m. CDT; updated 4:39 p.m. CDT, Saturday, May 5, 2012

COLUMBIA — Stephens College and Columbia College students will celebrate their commencements Saturday.

The Stephens commencement ceremony for graduate students will take place at 10 a.m. Saturday in the John and Mary Silverthorne Arena. Fifty-nine students will be receiving master's degrees. Forty-two are expected to walk.

Commencement times and places

Columbia College ivy chain ceremony
Date: Saturday
Time: 9:30 a.m.
Location: Bass Commons at Columbia College
Rain Location: Southwell Gymnasium

Columbia College Commencement
Date: Saturday
Time: Noon and 3:30 p.m.
Location: Southwell Gymnasium at Columbia College

Columbia College nurses' pinning ceremony
Date: Saturday
Time: 2 p.m.
Location: Launer Auditorium at Columbia College 

Stephens Graduate Commencement
Date: Saturday
Time: 10 a.m.
Location: John and Mary Silverthorne Arena at Stephens College

Stephens Undergraduate Commencement
Date: Saturday
Time: 2 p.m.
Location:  John and Mary Silverthorne Arena at Stephens College

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Anita Parran, the associate state director for public affairs at AARP Missouri, will be speaking at the ceremony. Parran graduated from Stephens and is on the Stephens College Board of Trustees.

There will also be a student speaker chosen by a committee.

Undergraduate commencement will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday in John and Mary Silverthorne Arena. The number of undergraduates receiving degrees is 171. One hundred forty-six are expected to walk.

The undergraduate ceremony will also include a student speaker, but there will be no guest speaker.

"We're actually doing something a little different," said Sarah Berghorn, communications coordinator at Stephens College. "We're doing a presentation that includes a slideshow and video."

Faculty and students were asked to submit photographs to contribute to the slideshow.

For the undergraduate ceremony, those who do not have tickets may watch the event live streamed from Windsor Auditorium.

Both the graduate and undergraduate ceremonies will also be streamed on the school's website.

Columbia College students from 18 campuses will participate in the commencement ceremony at the main campus in Columbia. This includes campuses in Missouri, Illinois, Colorado, Alabama, Texas, Florida and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as online students.

There will be 400 students receiving bachelor's degrees, 48 receiving associate degrees, 50 receiving master's degrees and 24 receiving associate nursing degrees.

Two commencement ceremonies will be held at Columbia College. The first is at noon and the second is at 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Both are open to all candidates for associate, bachelor's and master's degrees. Both will be held in Southwell Gymnasium.

Suzanne Tourville, an associate professor of mathematics at Columbia College, will be speaking at both commencement ceremonies. She is also the current department chair for the Computer and Mathematical Sciences Department and president of the Faculty Association.

Brandi Herrman, associate director of public relations, said the school has two ceremonies because of the number of students who are candidates for degrees.

"We've gotten to a point where we couldn't accommodate everybody," Herrman said. "So we had to split it into two to accommodate our graduates and their families."

Before commencement, Columbia College will also have an ivy chain ceremony beginning at 9:30 a.m. Saturday in Bass Commons. 

"The Ivy Chain ceremony is an emotional ceremony dating to 1900 where students celebrate their accomplishments and move from students to alumni," Herrman said in an email. "They also thank those who helped them along the way with roses."

A pinning ceremony will be held for those receiving associate degrees in nursing at 2 p.m. Saturday in Launer Auditorium.

Columbia College commencement ceremonies will also be streamed live online.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

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