1,082 Students to Receive Degrees at Southeast Spring Commencement


Wallhausen to Speak

Photo of Art Wallhausen

Art Wallhausen, associate to the president at Southeast Missouri State University, will present the address at commencement ceremonies May 10.

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo.,

April 29, 2008 – A total of 1,082 students – 905 undergraduates and 177 graduate students — will receive their degrees at spring commencement exercises at 2 p.m. May 10 in the Show Me Center at Southeast Missouri State.

Art Wallhausen, associate to the president at Southeast Missouri State University, will deliver the commencement address.

Wallhausen joined the University staff in 1984 as coordinator of News Services after a 20-year career in community journalism as the editor of The Enterprise-Courier in his hometown of Charleston, Mo. He became assistant to the president in 1987 and served in that capacity under presidents Bill Stacy, Robert Foster, Kala Stroup, the late Bill Atchley, Dale Nitzschke, and currently Kenneth W. Dobbins. Wallhausen was named associate to the president in 2000 and plans to retire from Southeast in late summer.

An Honors Convocation is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. in the Show Me Center, during which 279 undergraduates, 79 graduate students and 10 students receiving specialist degrees will be honored. Dr. Tamara Baldwin, professor in the Department of Communication and recent recipient of the Faculty Merit Award, will present the Honors Convocation address.

Leading the class of undergraduates are 14 students with a perfect 4.0 grade point average. Among them are:

  • Jonathan Beasley of Jackson, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in chemistry, ACS certified option, and a music minor.
  • Gail Robert Daugherty of St. Peters, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in early childhood education.
  • Lynn Haarmann of Wentzville, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in elementary education.
  • Jason Hertlein of Washington, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in exceptional child education.
  • Amanda Koch of Aviston, Ill., who will receive a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in elementary education and a specialization in early childhood education.
  • Jennifer Koenig of Perryville, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in accounting and minor in finance.
  • Jessica Muckerman of St. Louis, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in English education and minor in writing.
  • Nathaniel Saverino of St. Joseph, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in sport management and minor in business administration.
  • Rachel Schwiesow Bohnert of Gordonville, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of arts degree with a major in English and minors in anthropology and music
  • Trent Stafford of Fredericktown, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of arts degree with a major in philosophy and minor in political science.
  • Ashley Tindle of Valier, Ill., who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in engineering technology, electrical & control option.
  • Wendy Vandeven of Leopold, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in nursing degree.
  • Jamie Welter of Benton, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in human environmental studies, dietetics option.

Twelve honors scholars will be recognized in the graduating class. They are:

  • Rebecca Everding of St. Louis, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of science degree with a major in mathematics with an option in applied mathematics and minors in accounting and business administration.
  • Miranda Koester of O’Fallon, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of science degree in interdisciplinary studies.
  • Sarah Lichtenegger of Jackson, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a major in accounting.
  • Jessica Long of St. Louis, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a double major in international business and management, human resource management option, and minor in Spanish.
  • Twila Mason of Bloomfield, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of science degree with a major in biology, biomedical sciences option, chemistry minor, and bachelor of arts degree with a major in chemistry.
  • Jessica Muckerman of St. Louis, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in English education and minor in writing.
  • Michael Painton of Bell City, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in agribusiness, horticulture option, and a major in historic preservation.
  • Majhon Phillips of Jackson, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of music degree with a major in music, vocal performance option, and a bachelor of arts degree with a major in German.
  • Kacey Proctor of Poplar Bluff, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of arts degree with a major in philosophy and a minor in religion.
  • Gail Sanchez of Jackson, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in psychology and a minor in Spanish.
  • Jenny Schott of Kirkwood, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science in education degree with a major in English education.

To be recognized as an honors scholar, students must complete 24 hours of honors coursework, six of which are at the senior level, and maintain a minimum grade point average of 3.25. Honors scholars also must complete a senior research project.

Six students will graduate with academic distinction in their major department. The are:

  • Megan Matter of Blue Springs, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of fine arts degree with a major in art.
  • Twila Mason of Bloomfield, Mo., who will graduate with a bachelor of science degree with a major in biology, biomedical sciences option.
  • Laura Mills of Sparta, Ill., who will graduate with a bachelor of science degree with a major in agribusiness, horticulture option.
  • Michael Painton of Bell City, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science degree with  majors in agribusiness, horticulture option, and historic preservation.
  • Gail Sanchez of Jackson, Mo., who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in psychology.
  • Sarah Stephens of St. Louis, who will receive a bachelor of science degree with a major in historic preservation and a minor in archaeology.

Students who graduate with “Academic Distinction in the Department of Major” complete a special project in conjunction with a faculty committee, department chair and dean. Students carry out the project after they complete at least 75 credit hours of course work with a minimum 3.25 grade point average in their major department and a minimum 3.0 overall grade point average.

Eighty-seven graduating members of Phi Kappa Phi also will be recognized during commencement exercises. Phi Kappa Phi is the oldest international honor society, having been established in 1897. Southeast chartered its Phi Kappa Phi chapter in 1992. The charter is only extended to colleges and universities meeting the society’s rigorous standards, and is open to men and women in all academic fields who have demonstrated excellence of scholarship and integrity of character.

Graduating seniors who rank in the upper 10 percent of their class, juniors who rank in the upper 7.5 percent of their class; and graduate and professional students who have a graduate grade point average of 4.0 and have an outstanding undergraduate record are eligible for consideration.

In addition, 28 members of Omicron Delta Kappa, the national leadership honor society for college students, faculty, staff, administrators and alumni, will graduate. Students inducted into Omicron Delta Kappa are juniors, seniors and graduate students who are in the upper one-third of their class academically and who have demonstrated achievement in one of the following five areas: scholarship; athletics; campus and community services, social and religious activities, or campus government; journalism, speech and the mass media; and creative and performing arts. The society is designed to recognize those who have exhibited a high standard of leadership and effectiveness in collegiate activities, to bring together student leaders from all sectors of collegiate interest; and to bring together members of the faculty and the student body on a basis of mutual interest and understanding.

Also graduating will be 93 members of Phi Eta Sigma. Phi Eta Sigma is a national scholastic honor society that recognizes high scholastic achievement during the first year of college and offers leadership and scholarship opportunities. The Southeast chapter was established in 1984. Students inducted into Phi Eta Sigma attained at least a 3.5 grade point average on a four-point scale during their first semester or year at Southeast.

The Southeast Chamber Orchestra will perform during the commencement ceremony. Singing the “The Star Spangled Banner” and the “Alma Mater” will be Leslie Jones, associate professor of music. Dr. Tamara Baldwin, professor in the Department of Communication, will serve as the grand marshal.

Among the undergraduates participating in the Honors Convocation, 56 will graduate summa cum laude, 81 will graduate magna cum laude and 117 will graduate cum laude.

The required undergraduate grade point average for graduating cum laude is 3.5 to 3.74. Students graduating magna cum laude must earn a grade point average of 3.75 to 3.89. Students graduating summa cum laude must earn a grade point average of 3.9 to 4.0. Graduate students participating in the Honors Convocation must have achieved at least a 3.9 grade point average.

In his role as the University’s associate to the president, Wallhausen has provided oversight for the office of University Relations. He has served as executive director of the Missouri Council on Public Higher Education in 2003 and 2004, and for five years was a member of the board of the National Association of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education, including two years as secretary of that organization. After joining the Southeast staff, he was elected to membership in Phi Kappa Phi. He is also a member of the Southeast Missouri University Foundation President’s Council and the Southeast Boosters Club.

Wallhausen earned a bachelor of arts degree with distinction in history from the University of Missouri – Columbia, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa as a member of the Senior Honor Five. He is also a member of Omicron Delta Kappa, Q.E.B.H., and Phi Eta Sigma at Missouri University, and was president of the Acacia Fraternity chapter there. His postgraduate study was at Princeton University, where he was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, and at the University of Missouri.

After serving in the Army as an artillery officer, Wallhausen returned to Missouri and became the founding president of the Mississippi County Economic Opportunity Corporation, a founding board member of the Delta Area Economic Opportunity Corporation, and a director of the Mississippi County Savings & Loan Association. He served as president and for 14 years as executive secretary of the Southeast Missouri Press Association, was a recipient of the Missouri Jaycees “Outstanding Young Man in the State” Award, and was named an Honorary Missouri Colonel by Gov. Warren Hearnes.

He and his wife, Helen, have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren.