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Fairmont State to celebrate Commencement on May 6 Impact
Fairmont State News

Fairmont State to celebrate Commencement on May 6

Apr 26, 2023Academics, Events

Fairmont State University will honor graduates during the University’s 154th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 6 in the Feaster Center. The 10 a.m. ceremony will recognize the College of Business & Aviation and the College of Nursing. At 1 p.m. graduates from the College of Liberal Arts will have their degrees conferred followed at 4 p.m. by the College of Education, Health & Human Performance and the College of Science & Technology. Regents Bachelor of Arts graduates will also be recognized during the 4 p.m. ceremony. 

“Commencement is always an uplifting and exciting event on our campus,” said Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Tim Oxley. “Not only does it represent centuries of higher education tradition, it marks a significant milestone in the lives of our graduates that will serve them well throughout their lives. Commencement also reminds the University’s faculty and staff members of the importance of what we do, and why we do it; focused on a culmination of teaching, learning, and student engagement.”

This year’s commencement speaker will be Fairmont State alumnus William “Bus” Jaco, Ph.D. 

Jaco is Regents Professor Emeritus, Oklahoma State University, and Adjunct Professor of Mathematics at Rice University. He holds degrees from Fairmont State University (B.A. Cum Laude), Penn State University (M.A.), and University of Wisconsin-Madison (Ph.D.). He held faculty positions at University of Michigan and Rice University before joining the faculty at Oklahoma State University as Head of the Department of Mathematics in 1982 and was appointed Grayce B. Kerr Chair in 1993, an endowed position that he held until his retirement in 2021. 

He has been a member of the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton, NJ), The Mathematical Sciences Research Institute (Berkeley, CA), and the American Institute of Mathematics (Palo Alto, CA). He was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2019. He is a Fellow of the American Mathematical Society, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, an Honorary Member of Phi Beta Kappa, an Honorary Life Member of the American Mathematical Society, an Honorary Associate Member of the Moscow Mathematical Society, and received honorary recognition for service to St. Petersburg and Russian Mathematics and Mathematicians. He was recognized as the 2018 Outstanding Researcher in the College of Arts and Sciences and as the 2017 Eminent Faculty Member at Oklahoma State University. 

He was recognized as an outstanding alumnus of Fairmont State University in 1991 and held the Lois and Fred Gehring Distinguished Visitor Chair at University of Michigan 2005-06. He served as Head of the Department of Mathematics at OSU, 1982-87, as Executive Director and CEO of the American Mathematical Society (Providence, RI), 1988-95, and again became Head of Mathematics at OSU, 2011-2018. He served as Chair-elect, Chair, and Retiring Chair of the Mathematics Section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, serves on the Advisory Board of the American Institute of Mathematics, served on the Board of Mathematical Sciences at the National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences, served on the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics, and was an elected member of the Board of Trustees of the American Mathematical Society serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees, 2014-15. His mathematical research is in Geometry and Topology where he studies low-dimensional manifolds, decision problems, algorithms, and complexity theory. 

Commencement ceremonies will be open to all guests and tickets will not be issued for entry. Those unable to attend may join virtually to view in real-time via an event Livestream.

For the first time in recent history, celebration flowers will be available for purchase prior to the ceremony outside of the main guest entrance. Items can also be pre-ordered by visiting Proceeds will benefit the Staff Council scholarship fund. 

In addition to Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 6, the Fairmont State University College of Nursing will honor students at a traditional Pinning Ceremony on Friday, May 5 at 6 p.m. in the Feaster Center. The Pinning Ceremony will celebrate the completion of the nursing program for students enrolled in the University's traditional ASN, weekend ASN, LPN-ASN and RN-BSN programs.

Commencement 154Spring 2023 CommencementWilliam “Bus” JacoDr. Timothy Oxley