Two undergraduate commencement ceremonies May 10

Thursday, April 23, 2009


ST. CLOUD, Minn. – St. Cloud State University will hold two undergraduate commencement ceremonies on Sunday, May 10, one at 10 a.m. and the second at 2 p.m.  Approximately 600 students will participate in each of the ceremonies at the National Hockey Center on campus.

During the morning ceremony, an honorary doctorate will be bestowed upon Dr. Terence Pladson, who currently oversees a system which includes three hospitals, four long-term care facilities, nine clinics in seven Central Minnesota communities and a family practice residency program affiliated with the Fairview-University of Minnesota system.  Pladson is originally from St. Cloud, where he attended St. Cloud State before earning his bachelor’s degree and doctorate at the University of Minnesota.  He has served as vice president of Internal Medicine Associates, co-president of the CentraCare Health System, CEO/president of the CentraCare Clinic and president and CEO of the CentraCare Health System, where revenue since he took that position has increased from $176 million to $692 million.

The afternoon ceremony will be the occasion for bestowal of an honorary doctorate upon Mary Jo Copeland, founder of Sharing and Caring Hands, Minneapolis, which has grown from a small volunteer organization to a venture meeting the needs of more than 20,000 people monthly.  Copeland has been recognized in several news stories and magazine articles, including Readers Digest, Good Housekeeping, People and New York Times Magazine.  Copeland also was named one of the most caring people in America by the Caring Institute of Washington, D.C., and received the Norman Vincent Peale Unsung Hero Award, the David Prues Outstanding Leadership Award and the Pax Christi Award.

Students earning degrees from the G.R. Herberger College of Business and the College of Education, and those earning bachelor of elective studies or associate degrees will participate in the 10 a.m. ceremony.  The afternoon ceremony will honor students graduating from the College of Fine Arts and Humanities, the College of Science and Engineering and the College of Social Sciences.

Graduates will be presented by St. Cloud State Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Michael Spitzer and the college deans.  Degrees will be conferred by St. Cloud State President Earl H. Potter III.  John W. Palmer, professor of health, physical education, recreation and sports science and president of the St. Cloud State Faculty Association, will make brief remarks on behalf of the faculty.  Amy Trombley, president of the St. Cloud State Alumni Association, will make brief remarks on behalf of the Alumni Association.

St. Cloud State offers its 17,000 students more than 200 undergraduate and graduate programs in Business, Education, Fine Arts & Humanities, Science & Engineering and Social Sciences.  The university is located 70 miles northwest of the Twin Cities along the Mississippi River.

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