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WMU launches new year with convocation

Sept. 3, 2010

KALAMAZOO--Western Michigan University will kick off its academic year Thursday, Sept. 16, with an Academic Convocation that will honor achievement Universitywide and outline WMU's challenges, goals and aspirations for the future.

Photo of President John M. Dunn at convocation.The event, set for 3:30 p.m. in Dalton Center Recital Hall, will feature WMU President John M. Dunn's annual State of the University address as well as a series of awards honoring faculty and staff achievements.

This is the second year the University has chosen to use the convocation as a way to launch the academic year. Held during the first full week of fall semester classes, convocation is now designed as a signature event to welcome faculty, staff and students back to campus.

The longstanding academic tradition of gathering to honor accomplishment and focus on important University issues and initiatives is free and open to the public. A reception will be held immediately following the convocation in the adjacent Richmond Center for Visual Arts.

During the convocation, awards will be presented to 12 members of the WMU faculty and staff for their outstanding service and achievement. They will be honored as recipients of major awards in five categories:

  • Distinguished Faculty Scholar--which recognizes outstanding academic or artistic achievement recognized within the larger national and international academic communities.

  • Distinguished Service award--for faculty and staff members who have provided exceptional service to the University and its faculty, students and community.

  • Distinguished Teaching award--for faculty members who are exceptional educators and mentors and have demonstrated outstanding dedication.

  • Emerging Faculty Scholars--honoring early-career faculty members who have demonstrated the promise to achieve national and international renown.

  • Make a Difference award--for staff members who reach far beyond their assigned duties to make WMU an even better place to work and study.

This is the first year winners of the Make a Difference awards have been included in the annual convocation. They were previously recognized during a summer awards ceremony.

Winners in each of these five categories, all of which include a cash prize, will be announced during the days leading up to Academic Convocation.

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Media contact: Cheryl Roland, (269) 387-8400, cheryl.roland@wmich.edu

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