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Wednesday May 9, 2001

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Nearly 4,700 students to walk in commencement exercises

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By Hillary Davis

Arizona Daily Wildcat

Nearly 4,700 UA students will don caps and gowns at Saturday's commencement exercises.

The University of Arizona will award degrees to 4,692 at McKale Center during the 9 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. ceremonies.

UA President Peter Likins will confer degrees upon 3,538 undergraduates, 673 master's and 185 doctoral candidates, 131 law students, 105 medical graduates and 60 pharmacy students.

Lute Olson, men's basketball head coach, will deliver the featured address at both ceremonies. Olson has coached the Wildcats since 1983, after a successful tenure at Iowa. Olson led the team to a 1997 NCAA championship and a 2001 runner-up title.

Honorary doctor of science degrees will be awarded to: Bruce Alberts, a noted biophysicist and science education advocate; Dr. John H. Bryant, a public health advocate and UA graduate; chemist Harry H. Wasserman; and Delbert R. Lewis, a UA graduate who has led what is now KTVK-TV3 in Phoenix since the 1950s.

Honorary doctor of humane letters degrees will go to Lewis' wife Jewell, a longtime teacher; Arizona Secretary of State and UA graduate Betsey Bayless; and Nicol‡s Kanellos, who has shaped the discipline of Latino studies since the 1970s.

The Alumni Achievement Award will be presented to Henry Koffler and to Roman W. DeSanctis.

Koffler, who was university president from 1982 to 1991, arrived in the United States from Austria in 1939. He earned his bachelor's degree at the UA in 1940.

Under his administration, the Office for Minority Student Affairs was established, as was the Academic Preparation for Excellence, a cooperative initiative which involves members of the university and the community to serve as mentors to financially disadvantaged youth.

He also began the restructuring of undergraduate education and re-shaped research capacities of the life sciences departments.

DeSanctis, a cardiologist, graduated from the UA in 1951. He then graduated from Harvard Medical School with the highest honors and has served on the staff of Massachusetts General Hospital and on the Harvard Medical School faculty. DeSanctis has held visiting professorships at Baylor, USC, Dartmouth, the University of Vermont and the UA. He is also a fellow of the American College of Physicians and the American College of Cardiology.

Student awards will be given to six seniors.

The Robie Medal will be presented to Sundeep Singh Suchdev and Kaleen Love. Suchdev will receive a bachelor's degree in sociology in Latin American studies. Suchdev has participated in Beyond Tolerance - a group that emphasizes diversity education and advocates against racism within the university community - as well as Students Against Sweatshops, the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences Student Advisory Council and in Turban Jones, a ska/swing band he started.

Love will receive her degree in political science and economics. She co-funded a student group called Project S.H.I.N.E., which places university students in local elementary schools for volunteer work. She has also served on the Associated Students' Presidential Cabinet, volunteered as a board member for Project Volunteer, and has volunteered at the Park Villa Convalescent Center.

The Nugent Award will be presented to Ben Graff and Jean Yates.

Graff will receive an undergraduate degree in psychology. He has been involved in Kappa Sigma fraternity and ASUA as a senator, executive vice president and president.

Yates will receive a bachelor of arts and a bachelor of science in Management Information Systems. She helped found Women in the Digital Economy, a group which creates and implements programs that will attract women to the field of management information systems. Yates also co-founded Students Consulting for Non-profit Organizations, which works to apply their practical business skills and problem solving abilities to non-profit groups in the Tucson community.

The Freeman Medal Award winners are Bosun Hau and Katie Larson.

Hau will receive three degrees, in the departments of psychology, molecular and cellular biology and physiology. Hau has been active in student affairs in the president's cabinet of the Associated Students and has been a student representative on the Faculty Senate. He's won many academic awards, and has volunteered at University Medical Center and Kino Community Hospital.

Larson will graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in creative writing and a bachelor of science degree in ecology and evolutionary biology. She volunteers on a regular basis at Casa de Los Ni–os and with a hospice care program. Larson has performed volunteer work in Mexico, eastern Europe and Africa with the sick and dying of those nations. She has also been active in the Outdoor Adventures club.