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Wednesday, May 12, 2004
photo Steve Kerr ready for grad speech, tortillas

Former NBA star and UA alumnus Steve Kerr won't be returning to McKale Center this weekend to nail his famous 3-point shot.

Kerr, who attended the UA from 1984-1988, will be delivering the commencement address at both ceremonies on Saturday.

After the address, President Peter Likins will confer degrees upon 3,620 undergraduates and 855 master's, 233 doctoral and 13 specialist degree candidates.

Additionally, 103 medical degrees, 46 pharmacy degrees and 149 juris doctor degrees will be conferred. Ten master of laws degrees in indigenous peoples law and policy, along with 12 master of laws degrees in international trade law will be awarded. [Read article]

photo Head of the Class

UA honors 6 seniors for their accomplishments, academics

Out of a graduating class of 3,260 seniors, six accomplished undergraduates have received top honors and the chance to sit on stage in the McKale Center Saturday.

Nita Umashankar and Jon Gandomi received the Merrill P. Freeman Medals. Freeman, who served the UA as a regent and a chancellor in the university's early years, provided the university with funds in 1916 to honor two outstanding seniors with medals. [Read article]

Top graduates at UA colleges

Agriculture & Life Sciences

  • David Werho - Outstanding Senior

    AZ International College

  • Molly Bigknife-Antonio - Oustanding Senior

    Fine Arts

  • Patricia Tabaczynski - Outstanding Senior


  • Cynthia Thurston - Outstanding Senior

  • Rebecca Lujan - Outstanding Senior in Special Education, Rehabilitation and School Psychology

  • Kathleen Nicholson - Outstanding Elementary Student Teacher [Read article]

  • divider
    Grads met by growing economy, job market

    Graduates ready to write resumˇs instead of term papers might fare better in their quest for a job than last year, as economists and employers call 2004 the best year in the past three for college graduates to step into the job market.

    "This is the first year (in the past three) employers are predicting an increase in hiring," said Andrea Carr, employment information manager for the National Association of Colleges and Employers, a nonprofit university and employer membership organization. "We're not where we were five years ago, but we're getting there." [Read article]

    Yearbook royalty back on campus after drought

    Ryan Harper and Lauren Hall are the first students selected as The Desert Yearbook king and queen after the UA tradition of announcing yearbook royalty took a 40-year hiatus.

    Daniel Scarpinato, The Desert Yearbook editor, got the idea of bringing the tradition back to the UA campus after sifting through some old yearbooks from as early as 1920 and seeing pictures of a decked-out Desert Queen.

    "The Desert Queen was a really big deal on campus," he said. "It was almost like the Miss America Pageant." [Read article]

    photo To fling or not to fling tortillas? That is the question

    UA officials say tortilla-tossing can be offensive to Mexicans, American Indians

    Instead of sending e-mails to graduating students asking them not to throw tortillas, administrators are asking officials at each college to advise students not to engage in the practice at this year's ceremonies.

    President Peter Likins said he has asked the deans of each college to persuade the graduating seniors not to throw the tortillas during the ceremony. [Read article]

    Grads get gifts ranging from tuna fish to Toyotas

    A trip to Aruba, a Toyota Prius and a can of tuna - although they sound like prizes on "The Price Is Right," they're actually a taste of the unusual gifts graduates are getting this year.

    Mia McDonald, a creative writing senior, said her parents will be giving her a green Toyota Prius, a gas/electric hybrid car.

    "My dad figured I'll be impoverished the rest of my life since I'm a creative writing major," she said. "But it's nice knowing I'll have a reliable car 30 years from now when I have no money." [Read article]

    Senior traditions include morning drink, swim in fountain at Old Main

    As graduation looms for UA seniors, some will continue a graduation tradition: liquoring up at some of Tucson's most popular watering holes before Saturday's ceremonies.

    Die-hard traditionalists will line up outside The Buffet Bar and Crock Pot, 538 E. Ninth St., awaiting its 6 a.m. opening time, when seniors can indulge in alcoholic beverages and food galore.

    Aisha Al-Suwaidi, an environmental sciences senior, is looking forward to the tradition of going to The Buffet so she can get her drink on. [Read article]

    Graduates average $17K in college debt

    A little less than half of the undergraduates tossing their caps toward McKale Center rafters on Saturday are likely to face a challenge that may be more difficult than earning their degrees: paying off student loans.

    If past trends hold, somewhere between 40 and 50 percent of undergraduates will graduate with debt this year. Last year, the number was 44.9 percent, down slightly from the previous year, according to the state universities' financial aid report. [Read article]


    Question 1: What will you miss most about the UA?
    Question 2: What are you doing after graduation?

    "The nice weather. I will be looking for work and applying to grad school in Alaska or Washington."

    "The basketball team, the Eller College. I am going back to South Korea, where I'm from, and serving in the Korean Army for three years. It's required of all citizens." [Read article]

    photo Construction projects changed face of campus

    ILC, Student Union Memorial Center just a few of new campus structures

    Seniors who receive their diplomas on Saturday will be leaving a campus that looks much different from what they entered four or more years ago.

    From the big hole on the UA Mall that was later to become the Integrated Learning Center to the one of the largest student unions in the nation, students will leave the UA with memories of construction fences and building grand openings. [Read article]

    photo Top 5 stories of the year

    A look back at the news around campus

    5. RIAA subpoenas 4 UA students

    The Recording Industry Association of America subpoenaed four UA students in late March for using the campus's computing network to illegally download music.

    The recording industry used John Doe lawsuits - so-named because the identities of the students remain private - to require the UA to release the names of students who used certain IP addresses on the UA's network. [Read article]

    photo Year sees $490 tuition hike, change in funding formulas

    Regents this year approved the second-largest tuition increase in state history and laid the foundation for a plan that could reform the means through which universities are funded.

    The two initiatives came in the second year of Changing Directions, a statewide plan to allow the UA, Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University to pursue their own missions.

    Though the changes passed this year weren't as dramatic as those approved in the previous school year, which saw the passage of a $1,000 tuition increase and a dramatic restructuring of university admissions procedures, they nonetheless demonstrated that Arizona's universities are moving beyond a period of financial crisis and into an era of rebuilding. [Read article]

    UA may see boost in funding for first time in 3 years

    PHOENIX - For the first time in more than three years, it appears the UA will have its operating budget increased by the state Legislature.

    After having that budget cut in 2001 and 2002 and held flat in 2003, both the governor and the state Senate have supported a plan to pump roughly $15 million into the UA.

    While budget negotiations will likely drag on until early June, early indications are that the school will receive a sizeable increase in funding. [Read article]

    Activity fee will be back next year

    Despite the failure of the $15 per semester student activity fee this year, newly appointed student leaders said students should expect to see a new fee proposal next year.

    Newly appointed Associated Students of the University of Arizona Sen. Nathan Bell, who worked on this year's fee proposal, said a group of students are committed to working on the student activity fee next year.

    The fee, which would have raised an estimated $1.2 million, would have brought big-name concerts and speakers to campus. The measure was defeated when 56.6 percent of student voters decided to nix the proposal during a special election in April. [Read article]

    Student writes message in blood

    La Paz resident leaves roommate a message in blood on white board

    A student living in La Paz Residence Hall wrote a message in his own blood after getting mad at his roommate on May 4.

    Adam Green, a journalism sophomore and the student's roommate, said he returned to his dorm around 11 p.m. May 4 to see "Quiet you smug S.O.B.s" written on the wall of his room with blood.

    Green said earlier that night, he and his friends had been watching a basketball game in his room and his roommate had gotten upset. Green said he and his friends then left to go to the Student Recreation Center. [Read article]

    Nobel Peace Prize winner to speak

    First Muslim woman to win Nobel Peace Prize will speak on campus

    The first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize will speak on campus Tuesday about democracy, Islam and human rights.

    Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian lawyer and human rights activist, won the prize in 2003 for her work on behalf of the rights of women and children in Iran.

    Ebadi's talk, which is free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Center for Middle Eastern Studies and the Iranian Association of America. [Read article]

    photo Corleone dropped as UA dorm

    Corleone Apartments will not serve as student housing offered by Residence Life next semester, Residence Life officials said.

    The late decision was due to Residence Life assessing the possible need for the building. In the end Residence Life decided not to renew the building's lease, said Patrick Call, assistant director of Residence Life.

    Because of the openings of Posada San Pedro and Pueblo de la Cienega residence halls, there is no need for the apartments. [Read article]

    When & Where: Schedule of college graduation ceremonies

    Agriculture and Life Sciences

    May 15 - 8:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. Convocation ceremony in Centennial Hall. Seating and registration from 8:30 a.m to 9:30 a.m., ceremony begins at 9:30 a.m. Mementos will be presented individually to graduates, special awards will be presented and light refreshments will be served.


    May 15 - 11 a.m. Convocation in Crowder Hall of the Music building, followed by light refreshments in the Architecture building. [Read article]

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