MURRAY, Ky. — Murray State University will celebrate December 2018 Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 8, in the CFSB Center with a combined undergraduate and graduate ceremony at 10 a.m.

A total of 721 pending degrees will be conferred during the service — including associate, bachelor’s, master’s, specialist and doctoral degrees — with 19 states and 15 countries represented among December 2018 graduates.

The ceremony is scheduled to begin with the Presentation of Colors by the Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps (NJROTC) Color Guard from Paducah Tilghman High School, while Distinguished Professor Stephen Cobb will serve as the ceremony’s mace-bearer.

During the ceremony, Emma Cook and George Bittel, outstanding seniors for fall 2018, will lead the candidates for the conferral of degrees and provide the valedictions later in the service. Cook will graduate with a degree in human resource management, while Bittel is graduating with a degree in agricultural business.

Murray State faculty in attendance will be led into the arena by the recipients of the Regents Teaching Award for Excellence: Frances Smith, Brian Bourke, Deborah Bell, Yoko Hatakeyama, Rebecca Williams, Elizabeth Donovan, Sterling Wright and Shea Porr. They will be joined by the Max Carman Teaching Excellence Recipient Amelia Dodd, Presidential Research Fellow Juyoung Song, University Distinguished Mentor Yoko Hatakeyama, Distinguished Researcher Randall Black, Faculty Advisor of the Year Bassam Atieh and University Emerging Scholars Urmi Willoughby and Gary Zeruth.

Faculty marshals assisting with the overall ceremony include Susana Bloomdahl, Heath Keller,  Michael Kemp, Robert Lyons, Melony Shemberger, Matthew Shultz and F. Gilland Welsch.

Murray State Interim President Robert L. Jackson will preside over the ceremony and deliver welcome messages. Jackson, along with Provost Mark Arant, will administer the presentation of candidates for degrees.

The doors to the CFSB Center will open Dec. 8 at 8:30 a.m. for the service. Admission tickets are not required but seating will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

General guest parking is available in the Roy Stewart Stadium parking lot, east of the CFSB Center and off U.S. Highway 641. Shuttle buses will be available to transport guests from the parking lot to the front doors of the CFSB Center beginning at 8 a.m. The shuttle buses will also be available following the service to return guests to the parking lot. Lower Circle Drive (Entrance A) will be inaccessible.

Guests with accessibility needs may use Parking Lot B located off Gilbert Graves Drive. An accessible parking tag or relevant special permission may be required to park in the lot. Guests with limited mobility may be dropped off at this location. Additionally, the top two rows of chair seating in the CFSB Center will be 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. Other special requests regarding accessibility needs can be directed to the Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity and Access at 270-809-3155 on Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. or to the CFSB Center at 270-809-5577.

For those unable to attend, the commencement ceremony will be streamed live at Use #RacerGraduation on social media to share and document the graduation experience. Visit for more information.

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