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Strong job market awaits grads

May 07, 2007

About 6,500 students will graduate from ASU May 10, most of them entering the strongest job market in years. ASU’s spring commencement will be in Wells Fargo Arena on the Tempe campus at 9:30 a.m., a half-hour earlier than in previous years.

No matter how you spell it, it’s a family affair

For the Van Der Bloemen, er, van der Bloemen, uh, Vanderbloemen family, mother Nellie and son Rob have just one spelling on their mind: g-r-a-d-u-a-t-i-o-n.

The two will graduate with bachelor’s degrees in history from Arizona State University’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences on May 11 at the West campus. Nellie will check to see that her last name is spelled properly: van der Bloemen. Rob, too, will check to see that his last name is spelled correctly: Vanderbloemen.

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The graduates will include a record class of 224 nurses, the most ASU has ever produced in one class, and about 950 teachers, all of whose skills are in high demand.

Employers plan to hire nearly 20 percent more new college graduates this spring than last spring, according to a report from the National Association of Colleges and Universities. They cite business growth and expansion as the reasons for the increase.

ASU also is graduating 525 engineers, whose salaries are expected to hover in the $50,000-$60,000 range, and 880 business undergraduates, with average starting salaries well above $40,000. There are 178 lawyers,

650 MBAs, almost 100 architects, 45 urban planners and 130 designers.

From the Herberger College of the Arts will come 163 talented artists, 107 accomplished musicians, 22 dancers and 37 theater professionals. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences is graduating almost 2,000 students, with the most popular majors being psychology, communication, justice studies and political science. About 230 are in the School of Life Sciences. Another 230 students will receive social work degrees, among the College of Public Programs’ 400 graduates.

Overall, the West campus boasts about 1040 graduates, Polytechnic will graduate at least 430, and the Downtown Phoenix campus will have about 630, plus 450 Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies graduates who take their classes on all four campuses.

Craig Venter, a nationally known entrepreneur and scientist, will receive an honorary degree at the ceremony. Venter is recognized for developing high-volume genome sequencing, a process which has implications for almost every aspect of biology and medicine.

Among the graduates will be an Iraq War veteran who was born in Mexico and now is headed to medical school; an ex-convict whose talent and academic achievement has opened doors to the graduate writing programs at Columbia and Rutgers; a single parent who will use her agribusiness degree in the Peace Corps in Africa; and a young business undergrad from Idaho who has had multiple job offers from Wall Street.

The ceremony will be broadcast live on the Internet at

Graduates and their guests will enjoy a free continental breakfast from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. in Sun Devil Stadium, with a no-host luncheon from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in the stadium. Convocation ceremonies will take place May 10-12 and will be played host to by the individual colleges and other groups. A schedule is available online at

Parking is free throughout campus on May 10, except in visitor lots and metered spaces. All roads are expected to be open, though lane restrictions are in effect for light rail construction nearby and guests are advised to arrive early to avoid delays. University Drive is restricted to one lane in each direction between Mill Avenue and Rural Road, and Apache Boulevard is restricted between Price Road and Rural Road.