Southeast Missouri State University
For more information, contact:
Ann K. Hayes (573) 651-2552
ahayes@semo.edu

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

957 STUDENTS TO PARTICIPATE IN MAY 11 COMMENCEMENT EXERCISES

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., April 26, 2001 - Nine hundred fifty-seven students will participate in commencement exercises scheduled for May 11 at Southeast Missouri State University.

Johnny Furr, Jr., vice president of sales development and community affairs for Anheuser-Busch, Inc., will present remarks during exercises scheduled for 2 p.m. in the Show Me Center. Furr's career with Anheuser-Busch spans 25 years. As vice president, Furr develops plans and executes strategies in support of the company's sales and marketing initiatives in the African-American community. His duties also include reputation management, community outreach and economic development initiatives within the community.

During commencement exercises, 824 undergraduates and 133 graduate students will participate in the ceremony. Degrees conferred at the ceremony will include: 40 bachelor of fine arts degrees, 305 bachelor of science degrees, 144 bachelor of science in business administration degrees, 121 bachelor of science in education degrees, 43 bachelor of science in nursing degrees and numerous other degrees.

Beth Roethemeyer, a Southeast graduating senior from Jackson, Mo., who will be receiving a bachelor of music degree and a bachelor of music education degree, will be leading the national anthem and alma mater during the ceremony.

Leading the class of undergraduates are 19 students with perfect 4.0 grade point averages. They are:

  • Michelle Bock of Old Appleton, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in education degree majoring in elementary education with a concentration in early childhood education.
  • Jennifer Browning of West Frankfort, Ill., who will receive a bachelor of science in nursing degree.
  • Lynn Casteel of Jackson, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of arts degree with a major in English, literature option, and minors in Spanish and religion studies.
  • Joseph Crain of Poplar Bluff, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in finance.
  • Daisey Diederich of Hartsburg, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in education degree majoring in elementary education with a concentration in language acquisition.
  • Anne Hays of Cape Girardeau, who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in computer science.
  • Stephanie Hoffman of Bartlett, Tenn., who will receive a bachelor of science degree, majoring in social work.
  • Erica Langlitz of New Athens, Ill., who will receive a bachelor of science degree, majoring in applied computer science with an option in information systems.
  • Jonathan Lanman of Dupo, Ill., who will receive a bachelor of arts degree with a major in English, literature option, and minors in philosophy and religion studies.
  • Tobi Layton of Hesston, Kan., who will receive a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in early childhood education.
  • Jennifer Long of DeSoto, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in psychology and a minor in business and human resource management.
  • Julie Mattingly of Perryville, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in education degree majoring in elementary education with a concentration in early childhood education.
  • Allison McGee of Bridgeton, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in education degree majoring in middle school education with concentrations in science and mathematics.
  • Michelle Moseley of Arnold, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in mathematics education.
  • Kim Mouser of Imperial, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in health management.
  • Amy Murphy of Puxico, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in nursing degree.
  • Christine Snelling of Union, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science degree, majoring in human environmental studies, interior design option, with a minor in architectural drawing.
  • Joo-Kyung Sung of Seoul, Korea, who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in economics and a minor in German.
  • Laura VanHoevelaak of Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in health management, fitness and sports medicine option.

Five honors scholars will be recognized in the graduating class. They are: Marisa Banasik of Wentzville, Mo., Sandra Dase of Balingbrook, Ill., Erica Langlitz of New Athens, Ill., Jennifer Newton of St. Louis, Mo., and Nicole Trokey of Farmington, Mo. To be recognized as an honors scholar, students must complete 24 hours of honors coursework, six of which are at the senior level, and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25. Honors scholars also must complete a senior research project.

Three students will graduate with academic distinction in their major department. They are: Wendy Decker of Jackson, Mo., who will be recognized for academic distinction in the Department of Physics; Christina Jan of Sylvania, Ohio, who will be recognized for academic distinction in the Department of Geosciences; and Karen Lawrence of St. Louis, Mo., who will be recognized for academic distinction in the Department of Biology. Students who graduate with "Academic Distinction in the Department of Major" complete a special project in conjunction with a faculty committee, department chair and dean. Students carry out the project after they complete at least 75 credit hours of course work with a minimum 3.25 grade point average in their major department and a minimum 3.0 overall grade point average.

One student, Scott Lucchese of Poplar Bluff, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in chemistry, will be recognized in the graduating class for receiving an $8,000 fellowship from The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi at the national level and a $500 fellowship at the chapter level. Since 1929, the Phi Kappa Phi Graduate Fellowship Program has become one of the largest and most respected scholarship programs in the country, allocating more than $460,000 annually to outstanding students for first-year graduate study. Lucchese has been accepted into the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Medicine.

In addition, 81 members of Phi Kappa Phi will be recognized during commencement exercises. Phi Kappa Phi is an international honor society for academic distinction that brings together individuals from a variety of disciplines. The charter is only extended to colleges and universities meeting the society's rigorous standards. Southeast chartered its first Phi Kappa Phi chapter in 1992. The society is open to men and women in all academic fields who have demonstrated excellence of scholarship and integrity of character. Graduating seniors who rank in the upper 10 percent of their class; juniors who rank in the upper five percent of their class; and graduate and professional students who rank in the upper 10 percent and have an outstanding record are eligible for consideration.

Twenty-one members of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society for college students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni, will graduate. Students chosen for Omicron Delta Kappa are juniors and seniors in the top 35th percentile of their class who have demonstrated achievement in one of the following areas: scholarship, athletics, campus and community service, social and religious activities, and campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; and creative and performing arts. The society is designed to recognize those who have exhibited a high standard of leadership and effectiveness in collegiate activities, to bring together student leaders from all sectors of collegiate interest; and to bring together members of the faculty and the student body on a basis of mutual interest and understanding.

An Honors Convocation is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in the Show Me Center, during which 203 undergraduates and 44 graduate students will be honored. Dr. Jai Dahiya, Southeast associate dean of the College of Science and Mathematics and professor of physics, will present the Honors Convocation address and will serve as grand marshal at the commencement ceremony. Among the undergraduates participating in the honors convocation, 46 students will graduate summa cum laude, 50 will graduate magna cum laude, 107 will graduate cum laude, and one will graduate with honors in associate degrees. The required undergraduate grade point average for graduating cum laude is 3.5 to 3.74. Students graduating magna cum laude must achieve a grade point average of 3.75 to 3.89. Students graduating summa cum laude must earn a grade point average of 3.9 to 4.0. Graduate students participating in the Honors Convocation must have achieved at least a 3.9 grade point average.

The commencement speaker, Johnny Furr, Jr., began at Anheuser-Busch, Inc., in sales and marketing, where he held a variety of significant sales management positions, including region administrator, manager of national sales operations, and division sales manager. In 1995, he used those skills to build a solid portfolio of programs and initiatives as director of wholesaler and retailer development in the Consumer Awareness and Education Department of Anheuser-Busch, which is responsible for implementing community-based programs to help fight alcohol abuse. From 1998 to 2000, he also served on Anheuser-Busch's Management Development Panel, an exclusive group of corporate executives who work directly with the company's most senior officers. In 2000, he was named vice president, Corporate Affairs, for Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., a post he held until being named to his current position in 2002.

Furr is an officer and board member of Anheuser-Busch, Inc. He also is affiliated with various civic and community organizations and serves on the board of the St. Louis Urban League, Boys and Girls Town of Missouri, and the St. Louis Black Repertory Company. He is a lifetime member of the NAACP, and a member of the Business Advisory Council National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, Inc., National Council of Negro Women, St. Louis Urban League, and 100 Black Men of St. Louis. Furr has received numerous awards, including the YMCA of Great New York's Black Achievers in Industry Award; has been named to Who's Who in Corporate America; and was honored as an outstanding alumnus of the Matthews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club in St. Louis.

Furr and his wife, Minga, have two daughters, Stacy and Jasmine.

 

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