Nearly 1,500 degrees will be awarded during UNL commencement exercises Dec. 19 and 20 at Pinnacle Bank Arena.
The arena, at 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive, will host a ceremony for students earning graduate and professional degrees at 3 p.m. Dec. 19 and one for those earning bachelor’s degrees at 9:30 a.m. Dec. 20. The College of Law will conduct a separate commencement ceremony at 1 p.m. Dec. 19 in Hamann Auditorium of Ross McCollum Hall on East Campus.
The ceremonies at Pinnacle Bank Arena will be live streamed at http://www.unl.edu.
Daniel G. Linzell, Voelte-Keegan Professor and Chair of the UNL Department of Civil Engineering, will deliver the address at the Dec. 19 graduate and professional degrees ceremonies. Pete Ricketts, governor-elect of Nebraska, will deliver the address at the bachelor’s degrees ceremony on Dec. 20. John M. Gerrard, judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, will address the law graduates.
In a new commencement feature, UNL will salute graduating military veterans and students receiving ROTC commissions. Those graduates who qualify will wear a special red, white and blue honor cord as part of commencement regalia. The cords are offered free, with funding provided by the University of Nebraska Alumni Association’s ROTC and military affiliate. For more information, go to http://go.unl.edu/0i40.
Linzell came to UNL in 2013 after 14 years as a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Pennsylvania State University, most recently as the John A. and Harriette K. Shaw Professor of Civil Engineering and director of the Protective Technology Center. He was a visiting professor at TECNUN, the engineering campus of the University of Navarra in San Sebastian, Spain, in 2008-09. He received his doctorate in civil engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1999, his master’s degree in civil engineering from Georgia Tech in 1995 and a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Ohio State University in 1990.
Linzell has published more than 50 refereed structural engineering articles. He is chair of the Structures Stability Research Council’s Task Group 04: Stability of Metal Bridges and Bridge Components and is on the American Society of Civil Engineer’s composite construction and bridge and tunnel security committees.
Ricketts will be sworn in as Nebraska’s 40th governor on Jan. 8 after winning the gubernatorial election on Nov. 4.
Born in Nebraska City and raised in Omaha, Ricketts is the son of an entrepreneur and a public school teacher. He graduated from Westside High School before attending the University of Chicago where he earned a bachelor’s degree in biology and an MBA in marketing and finance. After college, Ricketts returned to Omaha and worked for Union Pacific before working as a customer services representative in his family’s business, a company that would eventually become known as Ameritrade Inc. He went on to hold leadership roles in the company, including senior vice president of strategy and business development, senior vice president of product development, senior vice president of marketing, president and chief operating officer. Ricketts is the founder of Drakon LLC, which supports local entrepreneurs and startup companies. He is also on the TD Ameritrade board of directors and is a director for the Chicago Cubs baseball team.
He is on the boards of Bellevue University, the Mid-America Council of the Boy Scouts and the Christian Urban Education Foundation. Additionally, he is a director for the Children’s Scholarship Fund Foundation, a director of the Nebraska Game and Parks Foundation, a member of the board of directors of Opportunity Education Foundation, a member of the Archbishop’s Committee for Development, a member of the Knights of Columbus and a Knight of the Holy Sepulchre.
Ricketts and his wife, Susanne Shore, have been married for 17 years and live in Omaha with their three children, sophomores Roscoe and Margot and eighth-grader Eleanor.
Gerrard was nominated for a vacant judicial seat on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska by President Barack Obama in May 2011 and was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in January 2012. A native of Schuyler who earned a bachelor’s degree at Nebraska Wesleyan University (1976), a master’s degree in public administration at the University of Arizona (1977) and law degree from the University of the Pacific (1981). He was in private practice in Norfolk from 1981 until 1995, when then-Gov. Ben Nelson appointed him to the Nebraska Supreme Court. At 41, he was the youngest-ever appointee to the state Supreme Court and was a justice there until his appointment to the federal bench.
The ceremonies are free and open to the public, and no tickets are required. Because of security concerns, parcels, handbags and camera bags will be subject to search. 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. 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.
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 parking 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.
Guest services and first aid will be on Level 3 at Gate 112.
3 to receive ROTC commissions
Three cadets in the UNL Reserve Officer Training Corps will receive military commissions in ceremonies this weekend in the auditorium of the Nebraska Union, 14th and R streets.
Allison K. Daharsh of Lincoln and Aaron K.Voeller of Papillion will be commissioned second lieutenants in the Air Force at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19.
James G. Brown of Lincoln will be commissioned a second lieutenant in the Marine Corps at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 20.