More than 1,800 students will be honored at SIU Carbondale commencement exercises

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — The academic achievements of more than 1,800 Southern Illinois University Carbondale students will be celebrated during spring 2022 commencement exercises May 6-7.


Festivities start with the SIU School of Law commencement on Friday, May 6, at Shryock Auditorium. On Saturday, May 7, Banterra Center will hold two commencement ceremonies.


As of April 22, there are 1,834 candidates for degrees, including 1,208 candidates for bachelor’s degrees, 392 candidates for master’s degrees, 113 candidates for doctoral degrees, 72 law degree candidates and 49 candidates for associate degrees.


“Commencement is a celebration of Salukis’ drive, hard work, persistence and imagination of a better world and their role in it,” said Chancellor Austin A. Lane. “We’re proud and excited to honor them for reaching this milestone.”


There is no ticketing for guests, and guest seating for all of the ceremonies is on a first-come, first-served basis. Ceremonies will be compliant with campus and state pandemic safety protocols in place at the time.


The ceremonies will also be livestreamed at


Here is the ceremony schedule and honorary degree and distinguished service award recipients where applicable.


Friday, May 6


1 p.m. — SIU School of Law. Carolyn B. Smoot, retired First Judicial Circuit Court judge, is the keynote speaker.

Saturday, May 7


9 a.m. — College of Agricultural, Life, and Physical Sciences; College of Health and Human Sciences; SIU School of Medicine (SOM Ph.D. and master’s degrees only).

Carolyn Taft Grosboll, a two-degree SIU Carbondale alumna and recently retired clerk of the Illinois Supreme Court, will receive a Distinguished Service Award.


1:30 p.m. — College of Arts and Media; College of Business and Analytics; College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics; College of Liberal Arts; School of Education.

Richard Hunt, considered “perhaps the most important living contemporary sculptor in the United States” who was a visiting artist at SIU Carbondale in 1969 and had a one-person show in 1970 in University Museum’s Mitchell Gallery, will receive an honorary Doctor of Public Arts degree.


Cho-Yee To, an emeritus professor at the University of Michigan and 1967 SIU Carbondale doctoral graduate in education, will receive an honorary Doctor of Educational Leadership degree. 


Roland Burris, a 1959 SIU Carbondale graduate in political science and former Illinois attorney general who became only the sixth African American to serve in the U.S. Senate and the only SIU graduate to hold that seat, will receive a Distinguished Service Award.


John S. Jackson III, now a visiting professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, has served the university for more than 50 years in numerous roles including faculty member, dean, provost and vice chancellor, and interim chancellor, will receive a Distinguished Service Award.


SIU to award four posthumous degrees


The university will award four posthumous degrees during May 7 ceremonies. The student, degree, and commencement ceremony time are:


Joseph A. Ermel, Bachelor of Science in aviation flight, 9 a.m. ceremony for College of Health and Human Sciences.

Alexander Thomas Sgueglia, Bachelor of Science in aviation technologies, 9 a.m. ceremony for College of Health and Human Sciences.

John Jones, Bachelor of Science in information technology, 1:30 p.m. ceremony for the College of Engineering, Computing, Technology, and Mathematics.

Jacob Jurinek, Bachelor of Science in journalism, 1:30 p.m. ceremony for the College of Arts and Media.

Medallions, honor cords and veteran’s cords reflect achievement


A total of 505 students who are participating in commencement exercises will wear special medallions and honor cords during the ceremonies that reflect significant academic achievement.


Among the 505 students earning recognition: 


247 will receive cum laude distinction, signifying a cumulative GPA of 3.5 to 3.749.

138 will receive magna cum laude distinction, signifying a cumulative GPA of 3.75 to 3.899.

115 students will receive summa cum laude distinction, carrying a cumulative GPA of 3.9 to 4.0.

80 University Honors Program students will receive a certificate for completing 18 honors credit hours while maintaining a 3.3 GPA; three of those students also completed a 3-credit thesis

11 Saluki student-athletes will earn Latin honors, and one student athlete will also receive an honors program certificate. 


In addition, graduating students in active military service or military veterans will wear red, white and blue cords provided by the university in recognition of their sacrifice, commitment and service to our country.