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Lamar to confer 750 degrees August 17; President Evans keynote speaker

evansLamar University is scheduled to confer 750 degrees at the summer commencement Saturday, August 17, in the Montagne Center. Lamar University’s 15th president, Kenneth Evans, will be the keynote speaker.  The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. for the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Business, Engineering, Education and Human Development, Fine Arts and Communication and the Center for General Studies.

Graduates hail from 15 countries, 15 states outside Texas and 216 cities and towns in Texas. Lamar is scheduled to award the 750 degrees to 747 graduation candidates – 16 for doctorates; 503 for master’s degrees; 222 for bachelor’s degrees and nine for associate degrees.

Doctorates include five in educational leadership, five doctors of philosophy in chemical engineering, four doctor of engineering and two doctor of education in deaf studies and deaf education.

One student will earn two bachelor’s degrees; one will earn both a Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Science in accounting and another student will earn a Master of Science in accounting and Master of Business Administration.  The master’s candidates include 399 who will earn degrees in education as part of Lamar’s online education program.

As Lamar University celebrates its 90th year, President Kenneth Evans will preside over his first commencement ceremony as Lamar’s 15th president.  Evans holds bachelor’s degrees in English and political science from the University of California, Davis; a master’s degree in business administration from California State University, Sacramento, and a doctor of philosophy in marketing from the University of Colorado. He has conducted extensive research and authored more than 70 journal articles on interpersonal influence, sales management, services marketing, and marketing management and theory.

Evans’s teaching and research is extensive, but it is his leadership experience that provides a special fit with his role as president. Evans served since 2007 as dean of the Michael F. Price College of Business at the University of Oklahoma and held the Fred E. Brown chair. He previously served as associate dean of graduate studies, assistant dean of undergraduate studies and chair of the marketing department at the University of Missouri-Columbia. He has worked in a variety of research, teaching, and administration positions at Arizona State University, the University of Colorado and California State University, Sacramento. Prior to his academic career, Evans worked as a consultant and marketing representative at several northern California companies.

Born in Pittsburg, Penn., Evans grew up in Chicago where he attended public schools through the fifth grade, when the family moved to California. He was the first in his immediate family to earn a college degree. Evans played basketball, golf, and football at different points in high school and college and was a daily runner as part of an active lifestyle.

Ken and his wife, Nancy, met while freshmen at University of California, Davis, and married after graduation. A career elementary school teacher, Nancy retired when the couple moved to Norman, Okla. The couple has two adult sons.

Evans will present Plummer Awards, recognizing the top academic graduates. Students graduating summa cum laude, magna cum laude and cum laude with bachelor’s and associate degrees will be recognized as they accept their diplomas. Steve Doblin, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will introduce President Evans as speaker and certify degree candidates.

The ceremony will begin as Quoc-Nam Tran, professor of computer science and president of the Faculty Senate, leads the academic processional. Paul Hemenway, professor of communication, and Victoria Price, professor of modern languages, will present the graduates for the ceremony.

The Lamar Wind Ensemble, conducted by Scott Deppe, director of bands, will perform the processional, recessional and musical prelude. Noel Turner, instructor of voice, will lead in singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” and Lamar Alma Mater.