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UVI to Award More than 350 Degrees Saturday & Sunday

The University of the Virgin Islands will hold its 48th Annual Commencement Ceremonies May 12 and 13, on the St. Thomas campus and the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix, respectively. More than 250 degrees are expected to be awarded at the St. Thomas campus ceremony, at 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, in the UVI Sports and Fitness Center. More than 130 degrees are expected to be awarded at the Albert A. Sheen Campus ceremony at 4:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 13, on the campus grounds.
The class speaker on the St. Thomas campus will be Sondria Pemberton. The class speaker on St. Croix will be Desiree K. Golden. The class speakers are selected by members of their class.

The keynote speaker for both ceremonies is Spelman College President Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum, a respected psychologist, scholar, educator, race relations expert and leader in higher education. Dr. Tatum was appointed by President Barack Obama to the Advisory Board for the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. She is also a member of the boards of: the Institute for International Education, Council of Independent Colleges, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and Teach for America. An accomplished author, Dr. Tatum's best-selling books include "Can We Talk About Race? And Other Conversations in an Era of School Resegregation," and "Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?" Her best-known article is, "Talking about Race, Learning about Racism: An Application of Racial Identity Development Theory in the Classroom," published in the Harvard Educational Review in 1992.

The UVI Class of 2012 boasts many firsts. Judith Henderson will be the first graduate of the UVI Honors Program, a rigorous program that seeks to produce exceptional scholars and citizens by providing participants with enriched intellectual, leadership and outreach experiences. Henderson will earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

UVI will commission the first female graduates of the ROTC Program - Danielle Christian on St. Croix, and Marcia Bruno and Gail Alexander on St. Thomas. The commissioning ceremony marks the transition from a Cadet to Second Lieutenant (2LT) in the United States Army. Christian will also become the first female active duty 2LT from UVI's ROTC Program. Bruno will be the first Virgin Islands Army National Guard Officer and Alexander will be the first Army Reserve Officer to graduate from the program.

During the ceremonies, two distinguished Virgin Islanders will receive Honorary Doctorates from UVI. Dr. Alfred O. Heath, a practicing surgeon for more than five decades, and VI Delegate to Congress Dr. Donna M. Christensen will receive honorary UVI degrees, along with Dr. Tatum.

Admission to the St. Thomas campus Commencement Ceremony is by ticket only. Parking on the St. Thomas campus will be available in the parking lots of the Reichhold Center for the Arts, the Administration and Conference Center and the upper campus. Shuttle service will be provided from all parking areas to and from the Sports and Fitness Center. Only those with disability permits and persons who were granted prior special permission will be allowed to park in the Sports and Fitness Center parking lot.

Both ceremonies will be broadcast live on Da Vybe 107.9 FM.

In respect to all of the graduates, their families and friends, the use of air horns, whistles and other noisemakers will not be permitted at either ceremony.

* The statistics contained in this news release include the number of degrees conferred in December 2011 and in May 2012.