Monday, April 30, 2012

[419] MTSU To Award 100,000th Undergrad Degree During Spring Commencement

FOR RELEASE: April 27, 2012
EDITORIAL CONTACT: Office of News and Media Relations, 615-898-2919

MTSU to award 100,000th undergrad degree during spring commencement

MURFREESBORO—Middle Tennessee State University will award its 100,000th undergraduate degree during the spring 2012 commencement ceremonies, which will officially conclude the University’s yearlong Centennial celebration.

MTSU will again feature dual ceremonies and dual speakers beginning at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 5, in Murphy Center. More than 2,541 students are expected to receive their degrees that day, according to a report from the University’s Registrar’s Office.

The University’s 100,000th undergraduate degree will be presented 100 years after the doors of Middle Tennessee State Normal School opened in 1911 to educate Tennessee’s teachers. In that century, MTSU has grown one of three small state schools with 125 students on 100 acres to Tennessee’s largest undergraduate institution with more than 26,400 students on 500-plus acres.

“Our commencement ceremonies are always special and significant, but these upcoming exercises mark the conclusion of a remarkable yearlong celebration of our Centennial,” said President Sidney A. McPhee. “It is fitting that we reach this important milestone as part of our commemoration of our founding.”

MTSU now boasts more than 111,000 degreed alumni, a tally that includes both undergraduate- and graduate-degree recipients.

Of the 2,541 set to receive degrees during the spring 2012 ceremonies, 2,103 are undergraduates and 438 are graduate students, including 350 master’s candidates, 72 education-specialist recipients and 12 doctoral candidates. Four graduate students also will receive graduate certificates.

Candidates from the College of Graduate Studies, Jennings A. Jones College of Business and the College of Education and College of Mass Communication will receive their degrees in the morning ceremony. That afternoon, degrees will be conferred on candidates in the College of Basic and Applied Sciences, College of Behavioral and Health Sciences, College of Liberal Arts and the University College.

Dr. Mark A. Emmert, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, will serve as the guest speaker for the 9 a.m. ceremony. Before he took the reins as the NCAA’s fifth president in October 2010, Emmert was president of his alma mater, the University of Washington.

He led that university to its standing as second among all public and private institutions in research funding with $1.3 billion in grants and contracts per year. During his six-year tenure, the University of Washington also concluded a $2.6 billion fundraising campaign. Emmert also is president emeritus of the University of Washington.

Before returning to his alma mater, Emmert was chancellor of Louisiana State University; his administrative appointments in higher education include provost and chancellor at the University of Connecticut, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Montana State University and associate vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Colorado.

Dr. Ribo Huang, president of Guangxi Academy of Sciences in China, will speak to the graduates at the 2 p.m. ceremony. Huang, who earned his doctoral degree in biotechnology from the University of Reading in the United Kingdom, has devoted himself to the research of microbial biotechnology, enzyme engineering and the development of biotechnology products

He has been working as a professor and a president of Guangxi Academy of Sciences since 1999 and is a highly active scientist involved in molecular enzyme technology. In addition to publishing numerous papers in international journals, Huang has been granted eight invention patents, three new-product certificates and one new-medicine certificate in China.

Huang is director of the National Engineering Research Center for Bioenergy and director of the China State Key Lab for Bioenergy & Enzyme Tech, and he also serves as vice president of the Guangxi Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.

On commencement day, the University’s graduation committee stressed that MTSU students who participate will be required to stay for their entire scheduled ceremony. Each event should last about two hours, so graduation candidates planning celebration activities should be aware of this time commitment.

For more information about commencement, please visit the Records Office website at Questions about graduation may be directed to the Records Office at 615-898-2600.


Who: A projected 2,541 graduates* (2,103 undergraduates, 438 graduate students)
What: 2012 MTSU Spring Commencement
When: 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 5
Where: Murphy Center on the MTSU campus
Commencement speakers:
·         Dr. Mark A. Emmert, NCAA president, 9 a.m. ceremony.
·         Dr. Ribo Huang, president of China’s Guangxi Academy of Sciences, 2 p.m. ceremony.

*— Approximate numbers as of April 27, 2012.


The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching has recognized MTSU for its outstanding curricular engagement, community outreach and partnerships. As MTSU celebrates its 100th anniversary, Pride, Tradition and Excellence are the cornerstones of "Tennessee’s Best"! For MTSU news and information anytime, visit

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