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5,000 set to graduate

December 10, 2007

About 5,000 ASU students will take home a special present Dec. 13, as they unwrap their degrees at ASU’s commencement. The ceremony will be at 10 a.m. in Wells Fargo Arena.

Recognized at the ceremony will be more than 600 graduates from the Downtown Phoenix campus – including about 180 nurses – and about 700 from the West campus, 300 from the Polytechnic campus and 3,500 from Tempe.

Individual colleges and schools also will have their own smaller convocation ceremonies, spread out over Dec. 13-15.

Leland Hartwell, a pioneering biologist and 2001 recipient of the Nobel Prize, will receive an honorary degree. Hartwell is a leader in the field of genetics and cancer research whose work has had a profound influence on the understanding of human cell growth and cancer.

Two students will receive Moeur Awards from the ASU Alumni Association for graduating with 4.0 grade-point averages, with all their coursework taken at ASU. They are:

• Heather Carter of Mesa, an interdisciplinary studies major in University College.

• Bryce Walker of Scottsdale, an accountancy major in the W. P. Carey School of Business.

Among the graduates will be 77-year-old Louise Alflen of Mesa, who enrolled at ASU four years ago. She took out student loans, rode the shuttle between the Polytechnic and Tempe campuses four days a week, and struggled through college algebra but maintained nearly a 4.0 GPA to get her history degree, all for the love of learning. Her granddaughter, Sarah Decke, an ASU director of student success programs, nominated her for graduation honors.

Also attending the ceremony will be 220 eighth-graders from Magnet Traditional School in Phoenix and Phoenix Preparatory Academy. Their visit is part of the Access ASU program, an initiative to raise the educational expectations of Arizona high school students and increase the number who enroll at ASU. For many it will be their first exposure to ASU, and also to the excitement of a graduation ceremony.

For the first time this year, ASU’s West campus will offer a free pancake breakfast to graduates and their families at 7 a.m., Dec. 13, as well as free bus transportation to the 10 a.m. ceremony in Tempe.

Individual cultural groups also will hold smaller convocation ceremonies that week at each campus. For a convocation schedule and more information on fall commencement activities, visit the Web site

The fall commencement ceremony will be broadcast live on the Web at