UNL to award nearly 3,000 degrees during May ceremonies

UNL to award nearly 3,000 degrees during May ceremonies

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln's May commencement exercises will be May 8-9 at Pinnacle Bank Arena and the Lied Center for Performing Arts.

The arena, at 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive, will host the ceremony for students earning graduate and professional degrees at 3 p.m. Friday, May 8, with doors opening at 1 p.m. Graduating students can begin checking in at 2 p.m. Commencement for students earning bachelor's degrees is at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 9, with doors opening at 7:30 a.m. The ceremonies at Pinnacle Bank Arena will be live streamed at http://www.unl.edu and be broadcast live on Lincoln's Time Warner Cable Education Access channel 80 (with a cable box) or channel 71.16 (for subscribers without a cable box).

The College of Law commencement ceremony is at 3 p.m. May 9 at the Lied Center, 301 N. 12th St. Doors open at 1 p.m.

UNL will award about 3,000 degrees during the ceremonies.

Patricia Crews, Willa Cather Professor of Textiles, Merchandising and Fashion Design and founding director of the International Quilt Student Center and Museum, will give the graduate and professional commencement address. Opera singer and UNL alumna Barbara Hendricks will give the undergraduate commencement address and receive an honorary doctor of fine arts degree on May 9. Environmental advocate Robert Kennedy Jr. will address the law graduates.

Crews is a scholar, curator and researcher in the study of American quilts, addressing their scientific, artistic and historical significance. She has received three Willa Cather Professorship appointments, the International Textile and Apparel Association's Distinguished Scholar Award (2005), the Textile Society of America's R. L. Shep Award for best book in the field (2003) and the Charman Outstanding Professor Award (1992). Crews was acting chair of textiles, merchandising and fashion design in 2000. She was on the UNL Museum Studies Program and was chair from 1995-97. She has been on the Chancellor's Commission on the Status of Women, the UNL Speaker's Bureau, the UNL Faculty Senate, the University of Nebraska Press Advisory Board, the Center for Great Plains Studies Board of Governors, and the Nebraska Consortium for a Regional Humanities Center.

Born in Arkansas, Hendricks received a bachelor of science degree from UNL at 20. She later studied at the Juilliard School of Music in New York. In 1974, she made her operatic debut at the San Francisco Opera and the Glyndebourne Festival as well as her recital debut in New York City's Town Hall. Hendricks has sung at the Paris Opera, the MET in New York, Covent Garden in London and La Scala in Milano. She is one of the most active recitalists of her generation. In addition to her vast repertoire of German Lieder (art songs), she is a leading interpreter and promoter of French, American and Scandinavian music. Hendricks made her jazz debut at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1994 and has since performed regularly in jazz festivals throughout the world. She starred as Mimi in the 1988 film "La Boheme" and played The Angel in Peter Eotvos' opera "Angels in America" in 2004 in Paris.

Kennedy is a professor of environmental law at Pace University School of Law and is co-director of the school's Environmental Litigation Clinic. He is also president of Waterkeeper Alliance, senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper and co-host of the radio show "Ring of Fire." He is a partner on the CleanTech investment team of Silicon Valley's VantagePoint Capital Ventures and the environmental adviser to Napo Pharmaceuticals. Earlier in his career, he served as assistant district attorney in New York City.

The ceremonies at Pinnacle and the Lied Center are free and open to the public, and no tickets are required. Arena policy encourages everyone to arrive early and travel light, as guests may be subject to search upon entry, which includes metal-detecting hand wands. Please see the Pinnacle Bank Arena website for prohibited items.

At Pinnacle, there will be open seating in all areas except the arena floor, which will be reserved for graduates, faculty and dignitaries. Handicap seating will be on the concourse level. Open captioning for people with hearing impairment will be provided through the ribbon screens at the corners of the arena concourse level. Guest services and first aid will be on Level 3 at Gate 112. For Pinnacle Bank Arena seating charts, go to http://www.pinnaclebankarena.com/tickets/seating.html.

A drop-off area for mobility-restricted guests will be available on the south side of the post office building, 700 R St., directly east of Pinnacle Bank Arena.

Paid parking, including handicapped parking, is available in garages south of the arena and in the Festival Space parking area off Sun Valley Boulevard. The Festival Space area is accessible to the arena via a pedestrian bridge. Limited handicapped parking is available at Gate 4 on the north side of the arena off Pinnacle Arena Drive. Parking maps are available at http://www.pinnaclebankarena.com/visit. Street closures in the Haymarket area will be in effect May 9 due to the Farmer's Market. Street congestion may occur.

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln Alumni Association will host the second annual ConGRADuation celebration party following the undergraduate ceremonies in the Railyard across the street from Pinnacle Arena. It is open to all graduates, their family and friends.