Indiana University Bloomington

University of Michigan president to speak at IU Bloomington winter commencement

  • Nov. 12, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Mary Sue Coleman, president of the University of Michigan and one of the most highly respected leaders in American higher education, will address graduates at Indiana University Bloomington's winter commencement on Dec. 21. The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at Assembly Hall.

Coleman will retire in July 2014 after 12 years as leader of the University of Michigan, widely regarded as the nation's premier "public ivy" university. She was president of the University of Iowa from 1995 to 2002. She will receive an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters at the IU Bloomington ceremony.

"President Coleman has been one of the most effective and highly regarded American university presidents for nearly two decades," IU President Michael A. McRobbie said. "Her leadership and service to higher education have set the standard for public universities, in what has been a particularly challenging time for public education. It is a great honor for Indiana University Bloomington to have her as speaker for winter commencement."

Named one of the "10 best college presidents" by Time magazine, Coleman has led University of Michigan initiatives addressing interdisciplinary collaboration, student residential life, economic engagement and research innovation. President Barack Obama selected her as one of six university presidents to help launch the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, and Commerce Secretary Gary Locke named her co-chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship.

"I am deeply honored to have been asked to address the graduates of Indiana University and look forward to celebrating a glorious day with students, their families and friends," Coleman said.

Coleman led "The Michigan Difference" campaign that raised $3.2 billion when it concluded in December 2008 -- at the time, the most ever raised by a public university. She has invested in entrepreneurship and technology transfer, resulting in 368 new inventions produced by the university in 2012. She navigated the university's purchase of a 30-building former Pfizer facility in Ann Arbor and its conversion to a complex for medical, engineering and science research.

Regarded as a national leader on the value of diverse perspectives in the classroom, she has served on the NCAA Board of Directors and the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics and is immediate past chair of the Association of American Universities, made up of 61 leading research universities including Indiana University. She was elected to the Institute of Medicine, for which she chaired a major policy study on the consequences of lacking insurance, and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Coleman built a distinguished career as a researcher studying the immune system and malignancies. She was a member of the biochemistry faculty at the University of Kentucky for 19 years before serving as an administrator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of New Mexico.

She earned an undergraduate degree in chemistry from Grinnell College and a doctorate in biochemistry from the University of North Carolina. She holds honorary doctorates from Grinnell College, Luther College, the University of Kentucky, Albion College, Dartmouth College, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Northeastern University, the University of Toledo, the University of Notre Dame, Grand Valley State University, the University of North Carolina and Eastern Kentucky University. She and her husband, political scientist Kenneth Coleman, have one adult child.

IU Bloomington winter commencement is open to undergraduates and graduate students who will have completed degree requirements between Sept. 1 and Dec. 31. There is one ceremony, lasting about 90 minutes, for graduates from all IU Bloomington schools. Doors to Assembly Hall will open at 8 a.m. Dec. 21. There are no reserved seats, but people with special needs or who need accessibility seating and parking may call University Ceremonies at 812-855-3762.

Some 1,888 IU Bloomington students will graduate. The campus will award 1,945 degrees: 1,360 bachelor's degrees, 459 master's degrees, 115 doctoral research degrees, six doctoral practice degrees, four specialist degrees and one associate degree. (Some students receive more than one degree).

The oldest graduate will be 64 and the youngest will be 18. One set of twins is graduating together. The most numerous degree to be granted is Bachelor of Arts, and economics is the most common major for B.A. recipients. The second most numerous degree is Bachelor of Science in business.

Candidates should report to Gladstein Fieldhouse in time to line up for the processional, which will start at 8:45 a.m. Ph.D. candidates will be hooded, and other degree candidates will be introduced by school.

The graduates will be inducted into the IU Alumni Association, with graduating senior Aaron Olson representing the class. A member of the Board of Trustees will represent the university, and the IU Alumni Association will be represented by national chairman Patrick O'Connor. The Rev. Linda C. Johnson of the IU Campus Religious Leaders Association will offer the invocation.

For complete information on commencement ceremonies at IU, visit the IU commencement Web page.

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Mary Sue Coleman

Mary Sue Coleman | Photo by University of Michigan

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Mark Land

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Ryan Piurek

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