Terre Haute, Ind. -- Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology will award 378 undergraduate or graduate degrees, and present honorary degrees to an Illinois Army National Guard soldier cited for bravery in Iraq, to the president of the Indianapolis Colts and to the college's long time dean of admissions during the college's 127th graduation program today.
The commencement ceremonies begin with a procession of graduates through campus at approximately 10:40 a.m. The graduation program starts at 11 a.m. in the Sports and Recreation Center.
Rose-Hulman President John J. Midgley will present 340 bachelor's degrees and 38 master's degrees to graduates. The commencement address will be delivered by Al Shipp, vice president of enterprise sales for Apple Computer Inc. Shipp is a 1978 Rose-Hulman electrical engineering graduate. He is responsible for business development to expand the worldwide market for Apple Computer Products.
Midgley will award honorary doctor of humane letters degrees to Sgt. Justin Villanueva, a member of the Illinois Army National Guard who was wounded in Iraq; Bill Polian, president of the Indianapolis Colts; and Chuck Howard, retiring vice president and dean of admissions at Rose-Hulman.
Villanueva has been awarded the Purple Heart and several other medals for his service in Iraq as a member of the 1544th Transportation Company of the Illinois Army National Guard located in Paris, Ill. On September 5 last year, an enemy mortar attack at a company area killed two soldiers and wounded 16, including Sgt. Villanueva. While being treated for injuries to his eye, jaw and lung, Villanueva was credited with bolstering the morale of soldiers around him.
During a 26-year career in the National Football League, Polian has earned a reputation as one of the most admired and successful executives in professional sports. In his seven years as president of the Indianapolis Colts, Polian has provided the leadership that has resulted in the Colts being one of the NFL's most successful teams. He is one of only two men who have been presented with The Sporting News Executive of the Year Award five or more times.
Howard retires in June after serving for 37 years as a member of the Rose-Hulman admissions staff. He joined the college's staff in 1968 as an admissions counselor. Howard was named dean of admissions in 1982 and promoted to vice president in 1997. He is being honored for creating a successful student recruitment program that has helped Rose-Hulman earn a national reputation for excellence. Howard received the President's
Outstanding Service Award in 1988 for his exceptional service and contributions to the successful operations of Rose-Hulman.
Among the special awards to be presented during the graduation program are the Heminway Medal to the graduating senior or seniors with the highest grade point average; the Herman Moench Distinguished Senior Commendation for outstanding potential for professional achievement; the John Tuller Royse Award for outstanding leadership; academic achievement and participation in extracurricular activities; and the Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award.
Also announced at commencement will be the recipients of the Dean's Outstanding Teacher Award, the Board of Trustees' Outstanding Scholar Award, and the President's Outstanding Service Award.
Special 50th anniversary diplomas will be presented to eight members of the class of 1955. The graduation ceremonies will be broadcast live on the Internet and can be accessed at www.rose-hulman.edu/Gradcast.