College and university commencements will get under way soon.
As usual, the region's ceremonies will feature a wide range of speakers and honorary degree recipients. Among the biggest names on the speaking circuit will be actor Val Kilmer, journalist Cokie Roberts, cartoonist Mike Peters and Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon. Honorary degrees will go to pioneering feminist Gloria Steinem, former Harris-Stowe State University President Henry Givens and U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Anne Patterson.
Among the ceremonies:
• Missouri Baptist University: May 1 commencement starts at 7 p.m. at the St. Charles Family Arena.
• Southern Illinois University Edwardsville: Four ceremonies will be spread over two days, with the first event at 6:30 p.m. May 4 and the final event at 5 p.m. May 5. All four events will be in the Vadalabene Center. Speakers include alumnus Fernando Aguirre, chairman of Chiquita Brands International.
• Missouri University of Science and Technology: Two ceremonies will be in the Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building in Rolla. The first will be at 6 p.m. May 4, the other at 11 a.m. May 5. Scheduled to speak is NASA astronaut Sandra Magnus, a Missouri S&T grad who made three shuttle flights.
• William Woods University: Ceremonies will be at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. May 5 in the Cutlip Auditorium. Actor Val Kilmer, starring in the new thriller "Twixt," also will present his one-man show "Citizen Twain" in the school's Dulany Auditorium. He also plans to visit the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum in Hannibal.
• Maryville University: Plans call for an outdoor ceremony at 10 a.m. May 5.
• Truman State University: Ceremony will be on May 5 at 2 p.m. in Stokes Stadium.
• University of Missouri-Columbia: Nearly 20 ceremonies will take place over three days, starting May 11. As of Monday, the university had not announced speakers.
• Lindenwood University: Graduate and undergraduate ceremonies will be at 7 p.m. May 11 and at 10 a.m. May 12 at the St. Charles Family Arena.
• Harris-Stowe State University: Ceremony will start at 10 a.m. May 12 in the Emerson Performance Center. The event also will serve as the inauguration of new president Albert Walker.
• Southeast Missouri State University: Gov. Jay Nixon will address the school's largest graduating class, 1,322 students, at 2 p.m. May 12 in the Show-Me Center.
• Webster University: Anne Patterson, the U.S. ambassador to Egypt, will receive an honorary degree at the ceremony at 10 a.m. May 12 at the Muny in Forest Park.
• McKendree University: Two ceremonies are planned for May 12 on the campus front lawn. Bachelor's degrees will be awarded at 9 a.m. and master's degrees will follow at 2 p.m.
• University of Missouri-St. Louis: Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. May 12 and end at 6 p.m. May 13. All will take place in the Mark Twain Building. Among those receiving honorary degrees are Henry Givens, the former longtime president at Harris-Stowe, and Dr. Patricia Wolff, founder of Meds and Food for Kids.
• Southern Illinois University Carbondale: Commencement will be handled in three events at 9 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. May 12 in the SIU Arena.
• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: There will be two campuswide commencements, at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. May 13 in the Assembly Hall. NBC political commentator Cokie Roberts will handle one ceremony; agribusiness broadcaster Orion Samuelson, of WGN Radio, will take the second.
• St. Louis College of Pharmacy: Ceremony will be on May 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Powell Symphony Hall.
• Washington University: Commencement will be at 8:30 a.m. May 18 in the Brookings Quadrangle. Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist Mike Peters, creator of the Mother Goose & Grimm comic strip, will speak and receive an honorary degree, along with Gloria Steinem and four others.
• Fontbonne University: Commencement will be at 10 a.m. May 19.