UNL will grant degrees to nearly 800 students in a commencement ceremony beginning at 9 a.m. Aug. 16 in Pinnacle Bank Arena, 400 Pinnacle Arena Drive.
Since the one-year-old Pinnacle Bank Arena is large enough to accommodate a graduating class of that size, UNL will conduct one commencement ceremony for the first time since December 2007. From May 2008 through last May, the university conducted separate exercises for graduate degrees on Fridays and baccalaureate degrees on Saturdays.
Susan Sheridan, George Holmes University Professor of Educational Psychology at UNL, will give the address, “Lessons from Preschool.” Ron Hull will receive the Nebraska Builder Award, given by the University of Nebraska since 1946 to individuals who have displayed exceptional service to Nebraska and the university.
Sheridan is the founding director of UNL’s Center for Research on Children, Youth, Families and Schools and the National Center for Research on Rural Education. The recipient of more than $36 million in grant funding, Sheridan has authored more than 100 books, chapters and refereed journal articles. She has spent her career researching, developing and evaluating family- and school-based approaches to enhance children’s academic, behavioral and social-emotional development. Sheridan is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and past president of the Society for the Study of School Psychology. Among other distinctions, she was the 2014 recipient of the University of Nebraska Outstanding Research and Creativity Award and the 2005 recipient of the Presidential Award from the National Association of School Psychologists. Sheridan earned a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and was the recipient of its Outstanding Young Graduate Award in 1995.
Hull was the program manager of the Nebraska ETV Network from 1955-82 and during his tenure co-developed the “Anyone for Tennyson?” poetry series and the “The Mark Twain Series” of dramas for PBS. He took a leave of absence in 1966-67 to work for the U.S. Information Agency as a television adviser to the government of South Vietnam, and developed a four-station network in the county. From 1982-88, he was director of the Program Fund for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting in Washington, D.C. He returned to Nebraska in 1988 and served as station manager of KUON-TV and associate general manager for Nebraska Educational Telecommunications for eight years. Officially “retired,” he remains active on several boards, commissions and foundations. Among his many awards, he received the Addison E. Sheldon Memorial Award for significant achievement in the preservation of Nebraska history from the Nebraska State Historical Society in 2013 and the Pioneer Award from the Nebraskaland Foundation in 2009.
There will be open seating in Pinnacle Bank Arena and the public may sit in any non-reserved seats other than on the main floor, which is set for graduates, faculty and dignitaries. Handicap seating is available on the concourse level at Sections 106, 107, 112, 114, 117 and 118. Concession stands will open to sell non-alcoholic beverages only. 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.
Guest services and first aid will be on Level 3 at Gate 112.
Paid parking, including handicap parking, is available in Haymarket area garages operated by the city of Lincoln and on the street, although those planning to attend the ceremony should be mindful that the Historic Haymarket Farmers’ Market will be in progress from 6 a.m. to noon in the immediate vicinity of Pinnacle Bank Arena and will affect traffic and parking patterns. Parking in the Red 1 Garage, 555 R St. at $3 per vehicle, can be reserved and paid in advance through the City of Lincoln website, http://www.lincoln.ne.gov/asp/eventprk/default.asp.
Parking will not be available in the Festival Space parking lot north of the arena, where the annual Capital City Ribfest will be in progress that weekend. Pinnacle Bank Arena’s north lobby entrance will not be open for commencement.
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, although the area is expected to be highly congested.
Parking maps are available at http://www.pinnaclebankarena.com/visit.
Both Pinnacle Bank Arena ceremonies will be carried live on Lincoln TimeWarner Cable Education Access Channel 80 (with cable box) or Channel 71.16 (TWC subscribers without cable box).