For those unable to attend commencement in person, the event will be available as a webcast. The information for the webcast is located on the UNK homepage. In addition, individuals on campus can view ceremonies via Campus Cable TV, Channel 20-1.
In all, 167 graduate students will be awarded degrees. The next largest group of graduate students to earn degrees was in the summer of 1991 when 163 were graduated. The total number of students receiving degrees will be 647, which is within one of matching the 1992 all-time record of 648, according to Robyn Schoenebeck of the UNK Office of the Registrar.
Delivering the commencement address will be Speaker of the Legislature Mike Flood of Norfolk. He holds a bachelor's degree in arts and letters from the University of Notre Dame and a law degree from the University of Nebraska College of Law. In 2000, he started US 92 Radio in Norfolk, and today he owns two radio stations.
He was elected to represent District 19 in the Nebraska Legislature in 2004. In 2007, he was elected Speaker of the Legislature and then re-elected by his colleagues in 2009 and 2011, serving an unprecedented six years as speaker. His committee service in the legislature has included the Committee on Committees, the Executive Board, Intergovernmental Cooperation, Legislative Performance Audit and the Rules Committee. Among his accomplishments as a legislator was the passage of LB 37 in 2009, which facilitated the establishment of the College of Nursing Northern Division on the Northeast Community College campus. In 2010, "Time Magazine" on-line named him to their "40 Under 40" list of rising stars in American politics.
In addition to his work in the Unicameral, he is a board member for Lavitsef Inc., Norfolk Rotary Club, Nebraska Broadcasters Association, Norfolk Community Healthcare Clinic, Madison Community Club and the Nebraska/Madison County Bar Association. He is the founder, and past sponsor, of the Norfolk Youth Leadership Council.
The University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Duane Bierman, will open and close the ceremonies as well as perform special music. Performing the National Anthem will be a quartet of seniors, all of whom are graduating with honors. The four include Brooke Brown of Scottsbluff on clarinet, Chris Gugel of Amherst on flute, Paloma Mena-Werth of Kearney on oboe and Robert Roth of Comstock on French horn. Roth wrote the arrangement for the group.
UNK Chancellor Doug Kristensen will give the welcome. and Robert Phares of the Board of Regents, and a member of the 2012 Golden Anniversary Class, will give greetings on behalf of the board. Senior Class Reflections will be presented by Christopher Deans of Hemingford, an honors graduate in biology. Andrea Walton Miller, president of the UNK Alumni Association Board of Directors, will present members of the Golden Anniversary Class. UNK Chancellor Kristensen will then present the prestigious Ron and Carol Cope Cornerstone of Excellence Award.