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Archive for Monday, May 16, 1994

A DAY IN THE SUN FOR NEW KU GRADS

May 16, 1994

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Thousands of graduates strolled down Campanile Hill during KU's 122nd commencement ceremonies Sunday.

Books, classes and homework symbolically floated away like balloons on a warm, cloudless day for thousands of Kansas University graduates Sunday.

"This is so large and it's almost overwhelming, but I think it's the best," said Vilas Cormack of Abilene, whose grandson, Chris Cormack, was her seventh grandchild to graduate from KU.

An estimated 4,700 graduates made the traditional walk from Memorial Drive, through the bell tower and down Campanile Hill into Memorial Stadium for KU's 122nd commencement ceremonies.

About 25,000 people were on hand for the two-hour procession and exercises, KU police estimated.

With bright sunshine and temperatures in the low 80s, many graduates wore shorts and T-shirts underneath their graduation gowns.

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs David Ambler said this year's event was "about the best one."

Why?

"The students' behavior was about the best I've ever seen," he said. "I think it's because each of the schools have their own ceremonies during the day on Saturday ... it makes graduation more personal, while the stadium is fairly large and impersonal."

Inside the stadium, Kansas Board of Regents chair John Montgomery congratulated graduates and lauded KU.

"Our graduates are fortunate to have attended one of the nation's finest public universities," he said.

Montgomery was interrupted by cheers when he said, "The 1994 (Fiske) Guide to Colleges gives KU a four-star academic ranking, making it the only Big Eight university to rank that high."

He also said, "It is through the strength of institutions like the University of Kansas that we can measure that strength of our future."

KU Chancellor Gene Budig formally conferred degrees from KU's 13 schools and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

In his message to graduates, Budig said, "This is a very special place. It has changed the lives of many over the years, enhancing personal and professional worth.

"The University of Kansas, without question, will do the same for you if only you will remember and respect its lessons. The men and women associated with this marvelous institution of higher learning wish each of you health, happiness and success."

The total graduating class is about 6,220. Traditionally, about two-thirds take part in commencement ceremonies.

KU police said three people received treatment for heat exhaustion, but there were no major injuries.

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