University of Maryland Newsdesk.www.newsdesk.umd.edu
For Immediate Release
No Better Time to Graduate a Terp
*Come to Commencement Early and Get Ahead of the Crowd*
By Danielle Earls
College Park, Md. -- University of Maryland graduates have a lot to look forward to as commencement nears. A growing job market coupled with a degree from a great academic institution makes true the statement: "No better time to graduate as a Terp!" And graduates have had a lot to "Cheer the Turtle" about this year, including the university's 150th anniversary celebration, a Nobel Prize winner, and national championships in three NCAA sports.
The University of Maryland will hold the main commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 21, at 7:00 p.m. in the Comcast Center. More than 6,400 graduates will receive bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees. Commencement ceremonies will be broadcast on UMTV, the university's cable TV station on Channel 72 in Prince George's County and Channel 2 in Montgomery County. Additionally, UMTV will be streaming the event live on the Internet.
Individual schools and departments will hold their own ceremonies at various campus locations throughout the day on Monday, May 22. See www.commencement.umd.edu/ for up-to-date information regarding the specific location and time of a ceremony. Friends and family of the graduates are encouraged to arrive approximately half an hour before the scheduled commencement to observe the traditional procession.
Among the 6,434 students seeking degrees there are 419 doctoral candidates, 1,371 master's candidates, and 4,644 bachelor's candidates. Both doctoral and bachelor's degree candidates increased from last spring by 195 and 116, respectively. The most popular undergraduate majors included criminal justice, government/politics, economics, finance, and psychology. Master's degree recipients reflected the growth in business sector with the most popular degrees being awarded in business management and library/information services. Just as in other recent years, the most popular doctoral degrees were mechanical engineering and music.
The featured commencement speaker will be United States Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD), who has been serving Maryland in the U.S. Congress for 40 years. A long-time supporter of higher education and university initiatives, Sarbanes also is well known for his work on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act following the financial collapse of Enron in 2001. As Chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee, Sarbanes drafted the critical legislation that aimed to reform the accounting industry and restore the investor confidence.
Graduating Terps Are TopsThe student commencement speaker will be Michelle (Shuli) Karkowsky, a double major in government and economics. Shuli's time at the university has been spent helping others and improving the world around her, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA. She is actively involved in the Jewish community as a leader, on the local and national level, and recently had the opportunity to work with U.S. Sen. Barbara Mikulski on the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Inspiration is the key theme Shuli hopes to resonate throughout her commencement speech. As she highlights, "people want to believe that anything is possible, I just want to inspire them to act on those beliefs." In addition, she speaks of how inspiration has helped her overcomes struggles with life's harsh realities saying, "for me it's been about how other people inspire me - it's like fuel."
Without a doubt, Shuli strives to inspire people to make difference in the world, whether it's as a member of the university's Board of Governors, cleaning up damage left by Hurricane Katrina in Chalmette, La., or researching genetic testing in the United States with her Gemstone GenEthics team.
The University Medalist Jessica Sheer believes providing resources to people provides a world of opportunity for all. This belief was reflected in Jessica's many activities during her four years on campus. These included tutoring other students, becoming a disability support services reader and serving as a departmental peer mentor. Jessica exemplified the same believe in her off campus work. She worked with a local non-profit advocating the importance of water quality and spent eight months working for a Maryland delegate helping to provide greater access to resources for Maryland residents. After graduation, Jessica plans to continue her fight for equality at Georgetown Law School, in Washington DC on a Dean's Scholarship. Jessica says she hopes to use her law degree and her skills as tools to protect and enforce individuals' rights, and thus allow them to "achieve their potential."
Read about some other top seniors here.
Senior Class Will Come Full Circle with '06 GiftTraditionally, each graduating Senior Class presents a gift to the university to commemorate their college experience and leave their mark on the campus. Since 1910, graduating students have presented the University of Maryland with support for landmark projects such as the Jim Henson statue, the McKeldin Sundial and the Testudo statue.
This year, the Class of 2006 chose to memorialize their experience with a replica of the M Circle, found near the campus entrance. Plans include placing a similar "M" on the traffic circle at the North entrance of campus, near Lot 1 and the Samuel Riggs IV Alumni Center. The Senior Council hopes, "[the M Circle] will inspire students, impress visiting football teams and become a symbol for alumni."
Parking will be available in the surface lots surrounding the Comcast Center and in Terrapin Trail Garage Sunday on May 21, 2006. For individual school and departmental ceremonies on Monday, May 22, 2006, parking will be available in any unattended lots on campus. Additional parking will be available in the cashier attended lots.
Shuttle Bus Service will be available from College Park Metro station to Comcast Center between 5:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. and from Comcast Center to College Park Metro station between 8:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. on May 21. Service will be available between College Park Metro station, on-campus parking lots and all graduation sites across the campus throughout the day on May 22.
The latest information about the University of Maryland commencement ceremonies can be found at www.commencement.umd.edu/.