Baldwin The largest graduating class in Baker University history will receive diplomas during ceremonies Sunday.
More than 550 students will graduate, up about 100 students from last year. John Fuller, Baker spokesman, attributed most of the increase to the university's School of Professional and Graduate Studies.
The 110 students graduating from Baker's College of Arts and Sciences will be honored during a ceremony at 1 p.m. Sunday in the Collins Sports and Convention Center.
Del Shankel, professor of microbiology and chancellor emeritus at Kansas University, will be the graduation speaker.
The 28 students graduating in nursing and 417 graduating from the School of Professional and Graduate Studies will be recognized during a ceremony at 4:30 p.m., also at the Collins Center.
Karen Pletz, president and chief executive officer of the University of Health Sciences in Kansas City, Mo., will speak at that ceremony.
The Rev. Tyrone Gordon, pastor of Saint Mark United Methodist Church in Wichita, will deliver the baccalaureate address at 9:30 a.m. at First United Methodist Church in Baldwin.
The weekend's festivities also include alumni reunions. About 1,000 former students are expected to attend.
The Alumni Day luncheon begins at 11:25 a.m. Saturday in the Allen Dining Room of Harter Union.
Award winners to be honored at the luncheon:
Steven Crouch, a 1973 Baker graduate and president of the medical staff at Stormont-Vail Regional Medical Center in Topeka, will receive the Alumni Citation.
Jan Schroeder, vice chairwoman of the board at the Roxbury Bank in Roxbury, will receive the Honorary Alumni Award.
Phyllis Nelson, a software support specialist in the computer services office at Baker, will receive the Grace Irwin Service Award, given annually to an outstanding staff member.
A new endowed chair honoring William Graziano, a retired professor who taught at Baker for more than 30 years, also will be announced at the event.
After the luncheon, a service in memory of deceased alumni will be at 2 p.m. in Osborne Chapel. An alumni social will begin at 7 p.m. in the Wildcat Cafe.