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UND Summer Commencement set for Friday Aug. 5 at the Chester Fritz Auditorium

Posted on 7/29/2011

More than 430 University of North Dakota students are eligible to take part in the 2011 Summer Commencement ceremony set for 3 p.m., Friday Aug. 5, in the Chester Fritz Auditorium, on campus.

This will be the fourth summer commencement that UND President Robert O. Kelley's has presided over. UND faculty member and Associate Professor of English Rebecca Weaver-Hightower will deliver the main address to students. UND annually graduates more than 2,700 students in ceremonies in May, August and December.
Live broadcast and recordings:
The ceremony will be broadcast live on Grand Forks Cable Channel 3 and rebroadcast on the same channel Aug. 9-12 at 12:30 a.m., noon and 8 p.m.
UND also provides a live video stream of commencement to allow family and friends to participate in commencement, even if they cannot attend in person. This feed is provided in Adobe Flash Video format, so users may need to download the Free Flash Player at
The stream will begin broadcasting about 2:30 p.m. (CDT) on Friday, August 5. The ceremony begins at 3 p.m.
DVDs of the ceremony are available at the UND Bookstore. To purchase a copy, contact the bookstore at 701-777-4980.
If users have trouble seeing the video, they should contact UND tech support at and chat with a representative, or call 701-777-6305.
To enter the event, click on the "Watch Event Here" link below:
Watch Event Here (
If users are unable to view the commencement ceremony live, an archived video will be available by Tuesday, August 9.
Honorary degree:
Also, the family of Kenneth Mellem, a longtime computer industry businessman and friend of the UND College of Business and Public Administration (CoBPA), will accept an honorary Doctorate of Letters on behalf of Ken, who passed away in June of 2010. The bestowing of honorary degrees, though a rarity for a summer commencement event, is a special tradition at UND, reserved for influential private and public figures over the years, including President John F. Kennedy, famed heart surgeon Michael DeBakey, philosopher Mortimer Adler, and basketball legend and UND alum Phil Jackson.

Mellem, who lived in Eden Praririe, Minn., and Largo, Fla., earned a bachelor's degree from CoBPA in 1966 and his master's in 1968. He suggested and participated in the development of several new programs during his association with CoBPA, particularly the executive in residence at the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology, where he taught a course for each of the last eight years, and the annual Mellem Business Symposium held on the UND campus. Ken served three terms on the CoBPA Advisory Council and was offered emeritus status for his many contributions to the college.

Chester Fritz Distinguished Professorship:
Also part of this summer's commencement ceremony, Roxanne Vaughan, professor of biochemistry& molecular biology, officially will be named a UND Chester Fritz Distinguished Professor, the University's highest academic title. Vaughan has been instrumental in building an internationally recognized research program and is known for her collaborative efforts. She is an expert in the biochemistry of the dopamine transporter and its role in drug addiction. Continuously funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) since 1999, Vaughan recently accepted an invitation to serve as a member of the agency's Center for Scientific Review (CSR) Molecular Neuropharmacology and Signaling Study Section. The NIH noted her scientific achievements, as well as the quality of her research accomplishments, journal publications and honors.

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