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ASU to graduate record number of students in Sun Devil Stadium

May 11, 2011

The main ceremony for Arizona State University spring graduation will be held at Sun Devil Stadium this year on May 12, to accommodate a record number of graduates and their guests. Almost 11,000 students are scheduled to graduate.

Commencement for 2,800 graduate students will be at 4 p.m., May 11, in Wells Fargo Arena. The undergraduate ceremony for almost 8,000 bachelor’s degree recipients will be at 7:30 p.m., May 12, in Sun Devil Stadium.

The number of spring graduates has increased by 1,000 a year over the past five years, reflecting a burgeoning enrollment and a greater demand for higher education. ASU awarded 16,380 degrees last year in spring and fall ceremonies.

Graduates will include about 1,000 teachers, 780 engineers, 200 nurses, 190 lawyers and 200 journalists. Some 2,230 students are earning business degrees, with 690 of these getting MBAs, including 123 from ASU’s executive MBA program in China. About 27 executives from Shanghai will attend the ceremony to pick up their degrees.

The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will graduate about 3,300 students, with the highest number of bachelor’s degrees awarded in psychology, communication, political science and biological sciences. About 14 percent of graduates in family and human development and sociology earned their degrees online.

Another 800 students are graduating from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, including 175 artists, 150 musicians, 250 architects and designers and 100 theatre and film professionals.

About 590 are graduating from the College of Public Programs, 530 from the School of Letters and Sciences, 280 from the College of Technology and Innovation and 470 from the New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences.

ASU will present the University Medal of Excellence to three individuals, Ira and Mary Lou Fulton and Masaji Inoshita. The Fultons, longtime benefactors of ASU who are among the nation’s leaders in targeted philanthropy, actively pursue and collaborate with their communities to advance education, science and technology.

Inoshita, a World War II Japanese internment camp survivor and decorated U.S. Army veteran, became an historian and civil rights advocate, spending much of his adult life speaking about race relations and the need for diversity in the workplace, schools and society.

ASU President Michael Crow will be the commencement speaker at each ceremony. Both will be webcast live on the Internet at

The ASU Alumni Association will present outstanding graduate awards to 16 students from different colleges across the four ASU campuses. The association also will give Moeur Awards to 129 students who have achieved the highest grade-point averages, with all of their classwork completed at ASU.

Convocations for individual colleges will be held throughout the ASU campuses May 11-14. A schedule is available at

Free parking will be available throughout the Tempe campus, except for metered spaces and residence hall lots. Parking information for commencement and convocation ceremonies is at