University of Illinois Chancellor Robert Easter will provide the 40th Annual Commencement Address at Lewis and Clark Community College on May 18 in the newly renovated Hatheway Cultural Center.
Easter is an interim vice president of the University of Illinois and the interim chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the state’s flagship public research university.
Prior to his appointment as chancellor, Easter served as Dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences (ACES). He has served as head of the Department of Animal Sciences, and has been on the Animal Sciences faculty since 1976.
Lewis and Clark President Dale Chapman said Easter’s involvement in the National Great Rivers Research and Education Center made his selection as this year’s commencement speaker timely and significant.
“Dr. Easter has been a supporter of NGRREC from the very beginning, serving as the dean of the College of ACES when we first began discussions about forming a partnership with the University to explore river research,” Chapman said. “With the opening of the Costello Confluence Field Station this fall, we felt this was the perfect year to invite Chancellor Easter to provide the commencement address. His collaboration in the early years of NGRREC and his continued support of the partnership in his current role as Chancellor play a large role in NGRREC’s ongoing success.”
As the chief executive officer for the Urbana campus, Easter leads a university campus of more than 42,000 students and nearly 3,000 faculty members. He oversees a $1.5 billion budget and more than $400 million in research expenditures. He is in charge of all financial programs, campus policies and priorities with the goal of ensuring a memorable educational experience for America’s next generation of leaders.
“Dr. Easter is a well-respected leader and will surely have a great deal of insight and encouragement to share with our graduates as they begin to think about their future career and educational goals,” Chapman said.
In 2006, President George W. Bush appointed Easter to the Board for International Food and Agricultural Development (BIFAD). In 2007, he was appointed chair of BIFAD. Easter is also a member of the American Society of Animal Science (ASAS), the British Society of Animal Science, the Council for Agricultural Science and Technology, and the Illinois Council for Food and Agricultural Research (C-FAR).
Easter’s teaching has been recognized with numerous campus awards, as well as the ASAS Midwest Section Award. In addition, he received the ASAS American Feed Industry Association Award in Non-ruminant Nutrition Research in 1992, and the University of Illinois College of ACES prestigious Paul A. Funk Award for contributions to Illinois agriculture in 1994.
The 40th Annual Commencement ceremony will be held at 8 p.m. May 18 in the newly renovated Hatheway Cultural Center on Lewis and Clark Community College’s Godfrey campus.
“We are very excited to open the Hatheway Cultural Center just in time for Commencement, as was planned,” Chapman said. “Elements of the building are still being completed, but this will not interfere with the ceremony. We will be ready in time to host our graduates and their families for our 40th Commencement, and we are excited to see their reactions to the improvements that have been made.”
Commencement is held annually to recognize the achievements of the college’s graduates. The total number of students graduating this year is 1,300.
Doors of the Ann Whitney Olin Theatre will open at 7 p.m. Additional seating will be provided in The Commons, where the ceremony will be broadcast live on two large screens. A reception for the graduates and their families will immediately follow the ceremony, also in The Commons.
This year, L&C graduates will be wearing “green” gowns, made of 100 percent recycled water bottles.
“We are pleased to offer our graduates an opportunity to wear these gowns,” Chapman said. “I think it sends a fantastic message to our graduates, and it’s another opportunity for us to demonstrate to the community our commitment to sustainability.”
For more information about Commencement, contact the Public Relations office at (618) 468-3200 or Enrollment Services at (618) 468-5001.