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UAB fall commencement ceremony, doctoral hooding Dec. 17

  • December 06, 2016
An estimated 625 students will participate in the commencement ceremony, and 745 students will graduate. The university’s highest degrees will be conferred on 79 students from 18 states and seven countries in the doctoral hooding ceremony.

spring commencement 2016 wattsPresident Ray Watts congratulates a graduating student at this past spring commencement ceremony.An estimated 745 students will graduate from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and approximately 625 are expected to walk in the fall 2016 commencement ceremony set for 9:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at Bartow Arena.

The UAB Graduate School’s hooding ceremony is set for noon at UAB’s Alys Stephens Performing Arts Center. The ceremony is for students earning doctorates in education, philosophy, public health, nursing practice and science. For fall 2016, the university’s highest degrees will be conferred on 79 students from 18 states and seven countries in 28 disciplines; approximately 61 will participate in the ceremony.

The keynote speaker will be Larry R. Hearld, Ph.D., an associate professor and the Ph.D. program director in the UAB School of Health ProfessionsDepartment of Health Services Administration.

The School of Health Professions ceremony will be held at 4 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, in the Sheraton Birmingham Hotel Grand Ballroom. The School of Public Health ceremony is set for 5 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, in the Hill Student Center Ballroom.

A to-do list for graduates, as well as information for guests, is available on the commencement website. Tickets are not required; but seating for the general commencement ceremony is first come, first served. Bartow Arena doors will open at 8:30 a.m. University officials recommend guests leave nonessential bags at home or in the car. The ceremonies will be recorded for online viewing at about a week after the ceremonies.

The President’s Medal will be awarded to Kirby I. Bland, M.D., who, after 16 years of exemplary leadership as chair of the Department of Surgery in the UAB School of Medicine, stepped down as chair in October 2015. Bland is professor in the Department of Surgery and continues to care for patients, conduct translational research, and educate and train the next generation of surgeons and young faculty. The University of Alabama System Board of Trustees named him chairman emeritus in April 2016 to honor his leadership in shepherding the Department of Surgery to outstanding new achievements.

kirby bland 2016Kirby I. Bland, M.D.The mace carrier for the commencement ceremony will be Alecia K. Gross Gutierrez, Ph.D. Gutierrez is the 2016 inaugural recipient for the President’s Award for Excellence in Support of UAB and Shared Governance. She is associate professor in the Department of Vision Sciences and director of the Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology Graduate Program.

The undergraduate commencement speaker will be Claire Finney. She is graduating from the School of Public Health with a Bachelor of Science degree in public health with a concentration in global health studies and a minor in Spanish. She is a member of the UAB Honors College’s Global and Community Leadership Honors Program. Finney has received scholarships including the Golden Excellence Scholarship, 38th District of Alabama Legislature Scholarship, UAB Freshman Housing Academic Based Scholarship, UAB School of Public Health Travel Grant and UAB Sparkman Center for Global Health Moses Sinkala Scholarship. She is a UAB Service Learning Outreach and Engagement fellow with AmeriCorps VISTA, where she helps create pathways and incentives for students to develop their community engagement interests. After graduation, she will join the Peace Corps in Belize.

The graduate commencement speaker will be Marlon T. Dortch. He is graduating from the School of Education with a Master of Arts degree in education with a concentration in special education. He received a Master of Arts degree in communication management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication studies, both from UAB. Dortch works as a special education teacher for Birmingham City Schools at Wylam K-8, where he helps students prepare for a general classroom setting by designing differentiated lesson plans that maximize each student’s capabilities and potential.  He is also an instructor at Jefferson State Community College and at Lawson State Community College. He was a tutor for the UAB Athletics Department. After graduation, he plans to continue his education at UAB.