Date: December 14, 2005
CONTACT: Scott Slemmons, scott.slemmons@ttu.edu

LUBBOCK – Almost 2,350 Texas Tech University students will receive diplomas during commencement ceremonies at 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., Saturday (Dec. 17), in the United Spirit Arena, 1701 Indiana Ave. The featured speaker at both ceremonies will be playwright Arthur Kopit.

Kopit has written a number of plays, including Tony Award nominees "Indians" and "Wings," as well as "Road to Nirvana," "End of the World with Symposium to Follow," "Discovery of America" and an original musical called "Tom Swift and the Secrets of the Universe." His play "Indians" was adapted for the Robert Altman film "Buffalo Bill and the Indians, or Sitting Bull's History Lesson" in 1967. He also wrote screenplays for "Hands of a Stranger" and "Roswell." He is a member of the Dramatist Guild, the Writers Guild of America and PEN.

The morning ceremony will include students in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education, Engineering, Honors and Visual and Performing Arts. The afternoon observance includes the Colleges of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, Architecture, Human Sciences, Mass Communications and the Rawls College of Business Administration.

The Texas Tech School of Law has scheduled its ceremony for 6 p.m. at the International Cultural Center's auditorium, with a reception immediately following at the Law School. The speaker will be Lee Ann Reno, a 1994 graduate of the Law School and the current president of the Texas Young Lawyers Association. She is a partner in the firm of Sprouse, Shrader and Smith in Amarillo. The class speaker will be Omar Villa of El Paso.

Receptions for the colleges will follow their respective ceremonies. Reception locations are: College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources in the rotunda of the new Animal and Food Sciences Building, College of Architecture in the Architecture Gallery's courtyard, College of Arts and Sciences in the lobby area of Holden Hall Room 104, College of Business Administration in the Business Administration Building Rotunda, College of Engineering in the dean's office suite of the Engineering Center, College of Human Sciences in the El Centro lounge, College of Mass Communications in Frazier Alumni Pavilion and College of Visual and Performing Arts in the Maegden Theatre Lobby. The College of Education will hold a pinning ceremony at the Merket Alumni Center at 6:30 p.m. Friday (Dec. 16).

Outstanding students will carry banners representing their respective colleges. Administrators selected the banner bearers based on all-around achievement.

The banner bearers are: Desiree Ann Childs, a food science major from Lamesa, and Guthry Lance Edwards, an agribusiness major from Earth, College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources; Joseph Allen Ross, an architecture major from Henrietta, College of Architecture; Kathryn Celeste Harmonson, a biology major from Austin, College of Arts and Sciences; Robert Arthur Pearce, a management information systems major from Santa Anna, the Rawls College of Business Administration; Maria Emma Arias, a multidisciplinary studies major from Lubbock, College of Education; Trae Matthew Blain, a mechanical engineering major from Hereford, College of Engineering; Megan Blair Finney, a English major from Amarillo at 9 a.m., and Arielle Jene Thompson, a accounting and finance major from Lubbock, at 1:30 p.m., Honors College; Robin Kirk Sanders, a early childhood major from Floydada, College of Human Sciences; Stacey Elizabeth O'Brien, a public relations major from Claude, College of Mass Communications; and Chiyo Marie Wichman, a theater arts major from Spring, College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Selected to carry the banner for the Graduate School are Jimmie Kay Morgan from Lubbock, a doctor of philosophy student in curriculum and instruction in the College of Education, at 9 a.m.; and Susan P. Rupp from Santa Fe, N.M., a doctor of philosophy student in wildlife science in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, at 1:30 p.m.

Also recognized during commencement exercises will be bachelor’s degree candidates with the highest grade-point averages in their respective colleges. In some cases, the honoree also is among the previously mentioned banner bearers.

Highest ranking December graduates are:
Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources –Childs of Lamesa; Edwards of Earth; and Jerod Wade Foster, an agricultural communications major from Paradise;
Architecture –Ross of Henrietta;
Arts and Sciences – Abbigail Horn Arellano, a psychology major from Floydada; Alice Liang Hon, a psychology major from Lubbock; Amber Marie LeJeune, a biology major from Roswell, N.M.; Ashley Dawn Patrick, a sociology major from Lubbock; Megan Shea Pratt, a history major from Lakeville, Minn.; and Melody Lynn Van Marter, a communications studies major from Amarillo;
Business Administration – Sam Hulin Hall, an accounting major from Houston; Pearce of Santa Anna; and Arielle Jene Thompson, an accounting major from Lubbock;
Education –Arias of Lubbock;
Engineering –Blain of Hereford;
Human Sciences –Sanders of Floydada; and Janet Marie Kriger, a human development and family studies major from San Antonio;
Mass Communications – Haley Elaine Burks, a journalism major from Big Spring; Lauren Michelle Goode, a public relations major from Marble Falls; Emily Kay Harrison, a photocommunications major from Lubbock; James Patrick Hodgins, an electronic media and communications major from Needville; Carla Kay Holderbaum, an advertising major from Denton; Erica Lynn Leake, an advertising major from Lubbock; Chelsi Nichole Lewis, an advertising major from Flower Mound; Meagan Renee Lewis, a public relations major from Fort Worth; Michael Patrick Merrell, an electronic media and communications major from Odessa; O'Brien of Claude; Nathan Roy Pressler, an advertising major from Keller; Jacquelyn Renee Schirard, a journalism major from League City; Tasha Ann Starkey, a public relations major from Dumas; Connor Craig Threlkeld, a journalism major from Carrollton; Leah Suzanne Vowels, an electric media and communications major from Weatherford; and Jennifer Lindsey Walker, an advertising major from Lufkin;
Visual and Performing Arts – Maren Elaine Roberts, a music major from Lubbock.