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Virginia Tech honors and celebrates its 5,000 graduates for 2007


BLACKSBURG, Va., May 11, 2007 – Virginia Tech will hold its 2007 University Commencement ceremonies at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 11, in Lane Stadium/Worsham Field.

General John Philip Abizaid, U.S. Army (Ret.), former Commander of the United States Central Command, will deliver the keynote address where some 32 associate degree candidates and 3,585 bachelor degree candidates will be honored.

Individual college and departmental convocation ceremonies will be held throughout the day on Saturday, May 12.

A special remembrance will be held Friday evening at the University Commencement Ceremony to honor the lives of the 27 students and five faculty members who were killed April 16. During weekend ceremonies, the university will confer posthumous degrees to the students killed.

Alberto Bustani, president of the Monterrey Region of the Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM) in Mexico, will address Virginia Tech’s 2007 Graduate School graduates at a ceremony on Friday, May 11, at 3 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum. Some 1,179 graduate degree candidates (947 master's degree candidates and 231 doctorate degree candidates) will be honored.

In addition, 88 students are expected to receive Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, nine students are expected to recieved a Ph.D., and 14 students are expected to receive a master's degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

Virginia Tech's 2007 Northern Virginia Center commencement ceremony will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 13, at the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Va. Congressman Jim Moran will speak to the approximately 370 Northern Capital Region graduates.

Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger will preside over all three ceremonies.

General Abizaid, as commander of the U.S. Central Command, led 250,000 U.S. troops stationed in Africa, south and central Asia, and the Middle East. He succeeded Gen. Tommy Franks in 2003, and was promoted to the rank of four-star general that same year. At the request of then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Abizaid delayed his retirement until March of this year. He was succeeded by Admiral William J. Fallon.

Bustani began his career in 1983 as the development manager in the area of direct reduction of iron ores for HYL Steel Company, based in Monterrey. In 1987, he became the head of the chemical engineering department at ITESM. In 1992, Bustani started the Centre for Environmental Quality at Monterrey Tec, where he stayed as director until 1998. Bustani then returned to ITESM as dean of the School of Engineering and Architecture, until he was named president of the institute in 2001.

Moran, who is currently serving his ninth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, was first elected to city council in Alexandria in 1979. In 1982 he was elected Vice Mayor of Alexandria, followed by Mayor 1985. Moran co-chairs the Congressional Prevention Coalition Caucus and is active on human rights issues, particularly involving women in the developing world. He is also a member of the Appropriations Committee, where he serves on the Defense Subcommittee and Interior Subcommittee.

Each May, approximately 5,000 Virginia Tech undergraduate, graduate, and professional students are expected to complete their degree requirements and participate in commencement ceremonies. Approximately 20,000 to 30,000 family members and guests travel to Blacksburg to join graduating students.

For more information on Virginia Tech spring commencement activities, call the Commencement Hotline at (540) 231-3208 or visit the commencement website.

Should inclement weather be a factor in Friday’s Lane Stadium ceremony, call the university Weather Line at (540) 231-6668 or check the university homepage.



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