This month we celebrate the impact our graduates have on our state. Our current undergraduate student body is 95% Indiana residents. Our graduate students are 82% in-state. In raw numbers, that means 27,921 of the more than 30,000 students currently enrolled at IUPUI are Indiana residents.
Most of our graduates remain in Indiana—71% with baccalaureates and 63% of those with graduate or professional degrees. But that doesn't tell the whole story. Because these are percentages of all living alumni, many may have moved out of state only in retirement. Their entire career may have been spent in Indiana.
This year's commencement ceremonies will be held on Sunday, May 9. Nearly 6,000 students will be awarded degrees at IUPUI—5,956 students to be exact. Of these, 954 students will receive Purdue University degrees. Beginning this year, IUPUI's commencement will feature a student speaker at each of our two ceremonies.
At the 11:30 a.m. ceremony, Randy Marsh will be our student speaker. Randy is from Fort Branch, Indiana, and was 26 by the time he decided on IUPUI. He liked the urban environment and the diversity of his fellow students' backgrounds and soon became very involved in student life. He was a Campus Ambassador for the IUPUI Office of Campus Visits. He had two student internships—one with Exodus Refugee Immigration, which helps people fleeing persecution find new lives in Indiana, and another in the Indianapolis Office of Senator Richard Lugar. With a major in civic leadership and minor in political science, he looks forward to receiving a B.S. in Public Affairs, going to graduate school, and taking up a career in public policy, international relations, or human rights.
At the 3:30 p.m. ceremony, Sara Khan will be our student speaker. Sara is a graduate of Pike High School who tried IUB and Butler before deciding that IUPUI "captured everything that I valued in an academic institution"— especially the camaraderie between students and faculty. Sara has been a student employee in the IUPUI Multicultural Center. She volunteers with IUPUI's Relay for Life, which raises funds for the American Cancer Society, and the Southeast Asia Earthquake Relief Program. She is a pre-dental major with a minor in chemistry and has been accepted to the IU School of Dentistry.
Angela Brunt is among the Bepko Scholars graduating this year. Angela is a 2006 graduate of North Central High School who received the Virgil and Elizabeth Hunt Scholarship in the Gerald L. Bepko Scholars Program. She is a first-generation college student, a single parent, and the first African American Bepko Scholar. She not only met the highly competitive academic standards for receiving the scholarship, but has excelled throughout her studies at IUPUI. She will receive a baccalaureate degree in biology with minors in philosophy and women's studies. She is now considering scholarship offers from such law schools as Washington University in St. Louis, University of Michigan, University of Chicago, Howard University, and University of Virginia.
Samantha Deitz is another graduating Bepko Scholar. Sam is a graduate of Greenwood Community High School who will begin doctoral studies in biology at IUPUI this fall. She was a recipient of the William M. Plater Civic Engagement Medallion this year, which recognizes students who have demonstrated exemplary commitment to their communities during their years as an IUPUI student. Sam was a University College Bepko Learning Center Mentor for Biology K103 students. Sam also is a volunteer with Damar Services, Inc. She plans to continue her undergraduate research interest in Down syndrome as a graduate student and perhaps teach biology in an area high school. Sam became acquainted with IUPUI through the Molecular Medicine in Action Program in which she participated as a high school student herself in 2006.
Congratulations to all our graduates and also to those who will receive IU and Purdue honorary degrees at IUPUI's commencement ceremonies:
- Jane Fortune—author, art historian, philanthropist, and champion of the arts.
- Chris Johns—first field photographer to be editor in chief for National Geographic.
- William M. Plater, a scholar and visionary leader in higher education, whose many contributions include the establishment of service learning and civic engagement as an integral part of academic life at IUPUI.