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More than 5,000 graduates to be honored at Virginia Tech's 2009 spring commencement May 9


   

Graduates at spring commencement ceremonies Graduates at spring commencement ceremonies


BLACKSBURG, Va., May 5, 2008 – Now in its 137th year, Virginia Tech will hold its University Commencement ceremony at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 9, in Lane Stadium/Worsham Field. NBC News anchor and correspondent and Virginia Tech alumna Hoda Kotb will deliver the keynote address to approximately 25 associate's degree candidates and 3,727 bachelor's degree candidates will be honored.

Editor's note on inclement weather: May 8, 2008 - In the event of inclement weather, the university ceremony will be held in Cassell Coliseum beginning at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, May 9, 2008. All degree candidates will be asked to report in academic apparel to the floor of Cassell Coliseum for immediate seating instructions. The processional will be canceled.

The decision to move the ceremony indoors will be made no later than 3 p.m. on Friday. Once the decision has been made, details will be posted on the Virginia Tech homepage and a broadcast e-mail will be sent to all students, faculty, and staff. Information will also be recorded on the University Weather Line at (540) 231-6668 and will be broadcast on WVTF-FM 89.1 and other local media.

Individual college and departmental convocation ceremonies will be held throughout the day on Saturday, May 10.

Tae-sik Lee, the Republic of Korea (South Korea) ambassador to the United States, will address graduate and professional degree candidates at the Graduate Commencement ceremony that same day, at 3 p.m. at Cassell Coliseum.

Approximately 1,286 students will be honored at that ceremony -- 1,009 master’s degree candidates, 13 education specialist degree candidates, 14 Ed.D. candidates, 53 graduate certificates, and 197 Ph.D. candidates. In addition, Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine will be represented by 89 Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree candidates.

Virginia Tech's 28th Northern Virginia Center commencement ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Sunday, May 11, at the George Mason University Center for the Arts in Fairfax, Va. ABC News Senior Justice Department Correspondent and Virginia Tech alumnus Pierre Thomas, will speak to the approximately 300 Northern Capital Region graduates.

Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger will preside over the two Blacksburg ceremonies. University Provost Mark McNamee will lead the National Capital Region event.

Kotb was named co-anchor of the fourth hour of "Today" in August 2007. She has been a "Dateline NBC" correspondent since April 1998 and the host of the weekly syndicated series "Your Total Health" since September 2004. In her nine years at NBC, Kotb has covered a variety of domestic and international stories. Most recently, she covered the aftermath and one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. In addition, she has reported on the war in Iraq, the conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza, and the War on Terror in Afghanistan.

Lee is a career diplomat whose service for his country covers four decades and four continents. He served in various locations around the globe including Liberia, the Philippines, Austria, Yugoslavia, and the European Union. He has also held several senior-level positions throughout the Korean government, including director-general of the International Trade Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and deputy executive director of the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization.

A native of Amherst County, Va., Thomas covers the Justice Department for ABC News. He joined the network in November 2000 and reports for "World News with Charles Gibson," "Good Morning America," "Nightline," and other ABC News programs. He was a key member of ABC's team of correspondents covering the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, and he continues to report on all aspects of the aftermath of those attacks. The network's coverage of the Sept. 11 tragedy was widely recognized for its excellence, winning the prestigious Peabody and Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Awards, and an Emmy Award.

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 15,000 to 20,000 family members and guests travel to Blacksburg to join graduating students.

This year the most popular major for spring 2008 undergraduates is biological sciences. Psychology and mechanical engineering follow in second and third places respectively. In fourth place is finance. The fifth most popular major -- human nutrition, foods, and exercise -- bumps communication to sixth most popular by a count of one.

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



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