Indiana State University
Mother’s Day weekend was a little more special for most of the families of 2,200-plus Sycamores who graduated Saturday from Indiana State University.
Of the 2,213 students who were eligible, 1,060 undergraduate and 361 graduate students signed up to participate in either the morning or afternoon commencement exercises at Hulman Center.
Actor, comedian, writer and producer Mike Hatton, ’02, provided the alumni speech at both ceremonies. Hatton is best known for his breakthrough performance as George Dyer in the Best Picture-winning film “Green Book,” which also featured actors Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen.
“Being on stage today is incredible. It’s almost as crazy as being on the stage of the Academy Awards — almost as crazy,” Hatton said with a laugh.
A native of Hobart, Ind., Hatton described his path to Indiana State and how it led him to a career in the entertainment industry. The radio/TV/film major recalled how he juggled attending classes at Indiana State and working almost full-time at WTHI to put himself through school.
“My work colleagues, my instructors, my friends kept me on a path,” he said.
He gratefully acknowledged many of his supporters along the way who were on hand Saturday to listen to his commencement speech.
“Some people think that people who go after their dreams are fearless. I wasn’t fearless. I was afraid,” he said. “I thought about quitting many times, but the people I surrounded myself with, those people pushed me forward. I surrounded myself with people who love me, and I suggest you do the same. If you (do), you will never fail.”
In her congratulations to the Class of 2019, ISU President Deborah Curtis acknowledged the impact these newly minted alumni have made and will continue to make on the community and the state.
“Our graduates are the backbone of the state of Indiana. Seventy-five percent of our students come from Indiana, and 70 percent of our graduates stay in Indiana, begin their careers, raise their families and contribute to the economy,” Curtis said. “Our graduates keep Indiana running, thriving and competing on a global stage.”
Communication major Ra’Leshia Davis of Indianapolis was the speaker at the 10 a.m. ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences, Bayh College of Education and Scott College of Business.
Davis compared her college experience to starring in a movie. The plot of her motion picture started out smoothly: She became involved on campus through Hall Council, Residential Life and Student Media, had lots of friends and her grades were good.
“But what movie doesn’t have conflict or a turning point?” she asked. For Davis, it was senior year when she failed her first class.
“This portion of my movie is what I like to call bloopers. They’re failures that did not fail; they are failures that helped me grow,” she said. “And that is why I fell in love with Indiana State. It provided us with lifelong lessons — along with a valuable degree.”
As the credits are rolling on their college careers, Davis encouraged her peers to look to the future. “Do not stop here. I challenge you to begin the sequel for your next movie,” she said.
Construction management major Logan Pollard of Rosedale, Ind., was the student speaker at the 3 p.m. ceremony for College of Health and Human Services and College of Technology.
“This university gave me an appreciation for my small town community and then challenged me to expand my viewpoint to learn from others with different backgrounds and perspectives,” Pollard said. “I gained a deep admiration for people who were different from me — people who came from big cities and from countries all over the world, people who were born with financial wellness, and others who saved every penny they had to attend college. From the people who were the superstars of their high school to the ones who were wallflowers, State was a fresh start for everyone — a chance to reinvent ourselves, a chance to experiment and grow.”
Pollard credited Indiana State for opportunities to explore new countries, make life-long friends and earn his dream job in construction.
“As we move forward from this day, we should know that our experiences at State prepared us to take on whatever may come,” Pollard said. “Congratulations, Class of 2019! It’s time to embrace the new adventure that lies ahead.”
Indiana State University
Indiana State University President Deborah J. Curtis announced Friday the creation of an annual address in honor of slain Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a 1983 alumnus of the university.
The Jamal Khashoggi Annual Address on Journalism and the Media will examine current and critical issues related to journalism, the first amendment and freedom of the press. Invited speakers will include prominent journalists, authors, filmmakers, photojournalists or other professionals working in the media.
“I believe it is highly appropriate to pay tribute to Jamal Khashoggi’s lifelong career by providing an opportunity for these important issues to be discussed,” Curtis said at the meeting of the ISU Board of Trustees.
Khashoggi attended Indiana State as an undergraduate from 1977 to 1982 and conferred a business administration degree on May 7, 1983. A critic of the Saudi government, he was assassinated in early October 2018 after visiting the Saudi embassy in Turkey to obtain marriage documents. His death prompted an international outcry.
Khashoggi is among the journalists honored by Time magazine as its Person of the Year in 2018. “The Guardians,” as the magazine dubbed them, were dedicated to the pursuit of truth despite a war on facts and tremendous obstacles, including violence and imprisonment. Khashoggi is the only Indiana State alumnus to receive the honor and the only person to be posthumously named a Person of the Year.
“A speaker series is essential to the vitality of an academic institution,” said Greg Bierly, dean of the ISU Honors College. “Democracy thrives on the open exchange of ideas, and universities are the realm of test and trial for all manner of theories, explanations, proposals and solutions. Only when these environments are infused with the fresh perspectives of societal and professional leaders is knowledge advanced, debate made relevant and a student body given the tools to evaluate and improve the world.”
Chris Olsen, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and historian, shared a similar sentiment. “Freedom of the press remains the most essential foundation of democracy, the only way for Americans really to interrogate and hold our elected leaders to account,” Olsen said. “It’s critical for democratic politics to function that we have open and vigorous debate, based in examination of evidence and evidence-based arguments, about contemporary issues.”
In other business:
• Trustees approved housing and dining rates for 2019-20. The rate for traditional residence hall room with a standard meal plan, which represents the majority of on-campus rooms, will increase by two percent. Student rooms at 500 Wabash and University Apartments will also increase by two percent.
The on-campus early arrival daily rate will be adjusted from $14 to $20, the first increase in several years. The break access contract rate for students who wish to remain on campus during break periods will be increased from $600 to $800.
The Residential Life technology fee will continue to be $15 per semester.
• Trustees approved a two percent increase in flight fees for the mandatory certificates required by the four-year bachelor’s degree program (private pilot, instrument, commercial and multi-engine) and other certifications. Trustees also approved changes to other academic program and laboratory/course-specific fees, effective fall 2019.
Operational expenses for the ISU Flight Academy are primarily funded by flight fee income. Adjustments to these rates, effective with fall semester 2019, are necessary because of increases in operating costs for fuel, maintenance, salaries and related benefits.
• Trustees approved changes to several policies. A modification to policy 126.96.36.199 in the Constitution of the Faculty of Indiana State University, which was requested by Faculty Senate, establishes a formal process to fill vacancies. A change to policy 146.15 in the Bylaws of the Faculty Senate adjusts when a Temporary Faculty Advocate is selected and the term length one serves.
The modifications to policy 170.7 regarding the Teacher Education Committee changes three things: updates the name of the accrediting body; adds the Bayh College of Education Accreditation and Assessment member as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the committee; removes the limitation that no member can serve more than one consecutive term on the Executive Committee.
• The next meeting of the ISU Board of Trustees is set for May 10.
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News Writer: Lucy Pery PHONE: 317-527-4141