MURRAY, Ky. – Murray State University’s Spring 2017 Commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 13 at 9 a.m. in the CFSB Center with 1,629 pending degrees being conferred to May and August 2017 candidates, inclusive of associate, baccalaureate, master/specialist and doctoral programs. A total of 28 different states and 16 countries will be represented in this year’s graduating class.

The event is scheduled to begin with the Presentation of Colors by the Murray State University Army ROTC Color Guard.

The Mace Bearer is Dr. John Dressler, Murray State’s Distinguished Professor and a faculty member in the department of music through the College of Humanities and Fine Arts.

Outstanding Seniors Jaime Staengel and Jason Matthews will lead the candidates for degrees and will also give the valedictions. Staengel will receive a Bachelor of Science in economics and a Bachelor of Arts in German, along with minors in mathematics and business administration. Matthews will receive a Bachelor of Science in Wildlife and Conservation Biology. They are both recipients of the Honors Medallion and are graduating summa cum laude.

Faculty Marshals assisting with the ceremony are Professors Susana Bloomdahl, Traci Byrd, Heath Keller, Michael Kemp, Robert Lyons, Matt Shultz and Gill Welsch.

The faculty will be led in by the recipients of The Regents Teaching Awards for Excellence: Mickey Miller, Rebecca Pender Baum, Andrew Black, Matthew Crider, Traci Byrd, Christopher Trzepacz and Michelle Santiago.

They will be joined by Presidential Research Fellow William R. Jones, Distinguished Researcher L. Murphy Smith, University Distinguished Mentor Michael Flinn, University Emerging Scholars Vladyslav Krotov and Diana Nitiham-Tunney, Faculty Advisor of the Year Beverly Fort and the recipient of the Faculty Distinguished Service Award, F. Gilland Welsch.

Murray State President Dr. Robert Davies will preside over the ceremony with a welcome message as well as a Residential College Investiture. Davies, along with Acting Provost Dr. Renae Duncan, will administer the Awarding of Degrees.

Mr. John A. Williams, Sr. will deliver the Commencement Address and will receive an honorary doctorate from the University. Williams is chairman of the Computer Services, Inc. Board of Directors. Williams graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1962, earning a Bachelor of Science with majors in accounting and economics.

CFSB Center doors open at 8 a.m. as attendees are encouraged to arrive early and enter through gates B and upper level gate A. Tickets are required of all attendees; seating within the facility is general admission and on a first-come, first-serve basis. A limited area of overflow seating will be available outside of the main arena, where guests can view a live video stream of the ceremony in its entirety.

General guest parking is available in the Stewart Stadium parking lot, east of the CFSB Center, off of U.S. Highway 641. Shuttle buses are available to transport guests from the parking lot to the front doors of the CFSB Center beginning at 7:30 a.m. Buses are also available until 1:30 p.m. to return guests to the parking lot.

Guests with accessibility needs may use the parking lot located off of Gilbert Graves Drive as a drop-off zone. An accessible parking tag or special permission will be required to park in the lot. Guests with limited mobility may also be dropped off at this location.

The top two rows of chair seating in the arena are reserved for guests with limited mobility. Special seating areas will also be located on each side of the arena. Ushers will be available for assistance.

Special requests regarding accessibility needs can be directed to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access at 270-809-3155 Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m., or the CFSB Center at 270-809-5577 or TDD 270-809-3361.

For those who are unable to attend, the event will be streamed live at Commencement moments can be shared on social media with #RacerGraduation. More information about the event can be found at

Other commencement-related events that will take place on Friday, May 12 include the Honors Day ceremony at 3 p.m. at Lovett Auditorium, a commencement reception from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at Pogue Library and a baccalaureate service from 7 to 8 p.m. inside Lovett Auditorium.