MSU Will Celebrate 2017 Commencement Dec. 9
By WestKyStar & MSU Staff
MURRAY, KY - Murray State University will celebrate the December 2017 Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 9 am in the CFSB Center with 855 degrees being conferred, including associate, baccalaureate, master/specialist and doctoral programs. A total of 23 states and 16 countries will be represented in this semester’s graduating class.
The ceremony is scheduled to begin with the Presentation of Colors by the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) from Paducah Tilghman High School, while Distinguished Professor John Dressler, from the department of music, will serve as the ceremony’s mace-bearer.
Elaina Barnett and Caleb Brannon, the outstanding seniors for fall 2017, will lead the candidates for the conferral of degrees and will also provide the valedictions later in the ceremony. Barnett is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in studio art, while Brannon is graduating with a bachelor’s degree in agribusiness. They are both graduating summa cum laude.
Murray State faculty in attendance will be led into the arena by the recipients of the Regents Teaching Awards for Excellence: Mickey Miller, Dr. Rebecca Pender Baum, Dr. Andrew Black, Matthew Crider, Dr. Traci Byrd, Dr. Christopher Trzepacz and Dr. Michelle Santiago. They will be joined by Presidential Research Fellow William R. Jones, Max Carman Outstanding Teacher Award Recipient John Fannin, University Distinguished Mentor Michael Flinn, Faculty Advisor of the Year Beverly Fort, Faculty Distinguished Service Recipient F. Gilland Welsch and University Emerging Scholars Vladyslav Krotov and Diane Nititham-Tunney.
Faculty marshals assisting with the overall ceremony include Dr. Susana Bloomdahl, Dr. Traci Byrd, Dr. Heath Keller, Dr. Michael Kemp, Dr. Melony Shemberger, Matt Shultz and F. Gilland Welsch.
Dr. Robert Davies, president of the University, will preside over the Commencement Ceremony. Davies, along with  Provost Mark Arant, will administer the conferring of degrees.
The ceremony will also feature a welcoming address to the newest members of the Murray State alumni community from Jerry Penner III, president of the Alumni Association Board of Governors.
The doors to the CFSB Center will open at 8 a.m. and attendees are encouraged to arrive early. Admission tickets are required for all attendees but seating within the facility is general admission and available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
General guest parking is available in the Stewart Stadium parking lot, east of the CFSB Center and off U.S. Highway 641. Shuttles buses are available to transport guests from the parking lot to the front doors of the CFSB Center beginning at 7:30 am. The shuttle buses will also be available until 1 pm to return guests to the parking lot.
Guests with accessibility needs may use the parking lot located off Gilbert Graves Drive. An accessible parking tag or relevant special permission will be required to park in the lot. Guests with limited mobility may also be dropped off at this location.
Additionally, the top two rows of chair seating in the CFSB Center will be reserved for guests with limited mobility. Special seating areas will also be located on each side of the arena. Ushers will be available for assistance. Other special requests regarding accessibility needs can be directed to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access at 270-809-3155 from 8 am to 4:30 pm, Monday through Friday, or to the CFSB Center at 270-809-5577.
For those unable to attend, the ceremony will be streamed live at Commencement moments can also be shared on social media with #RacerGraduation. More information about the event overall can be found at
Murray State University provides an “Opportunity Afforded” for more than 10,000 students through a high-quality education with experiential learning, academic and personal growth and the ability to secure a lifetime of success. Since 1922, the true value of higher education has been found at Murray State University, where our commitment is to afford endless opportunities for developing leaders in the community, the country and the world. The University’s main campus is located in Murray, Ky., and includes five regional campuses. For more information about Murray State University, please visit

Published 07:01 PM, Wednesday Dec. 06, 2017
Updated 07:13 PM, Wednesday Dec. 06, 2017

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