Thursday April 29, 2010

Pomp and Circumstance

Kacie Hausfeld, who died in a plane crash, a record 44 Ph.D. students and all seven senior men's hoops players will be among those receiving degrees.

The University of Dayton will bestow a posthumous degree upon a student who died in a plane crash April 1.

Kacie Hausfeld, a junior early childhood education major, died along with her father, Tom Hausfeld.

Kacie's mother, Lori, and sister, Ally, will accept the diploma during the University's May 2010 graduation ceremony at 9:45 a.m. Sunday, May 2, in the University of Dayton Arena.

In all, about 1,300 undergraduates will receive diplomas Sunday.

Of those, perhaps Kathy Duell is among the most persistent. Duell, who will graduate magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, started college in 1966 but stopped to raise a family. She resumed college in 1995 and took one class per semester, except for the one year which she took off to battle cancer. The University of Dayton Office of Special Programs and Continuing Education honored her with this year's Nora Duffy Award. The award goes to an adult learner who has overcome significant obstacles to achieve a baccalaureate degree and reflects the spirit of the University of Dayton's Marianist tradition.

Monica Duffy, Susan Lucking and Vernon Mangold Jr. also are models in perseverance, returning to college after layoffs of more than 30 years.

After taking time to raise their families, Monica Duffy and Susan Lucking resumed classes in 2006, attacking their studies together, one class a semester. Duffy said Lucking convinced her that two older students in class together were better than braving it alone. Both will graduate with honors with general studies degrees.

Mangold left college early to enter the robotics business and eventually started his own company. He returned to college in 2008 after a life-threatening stroke and will earn a general studies degree. Mangold already has started giving back to his alma mater by helping the School of Engineering acquire a robot for its new robotics lab.

For Kelsey Cano's family, a University of Dayton graduation is "been there, done that." But, they'll undoubtedly be excited for Cano, who will earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism. She is the fourth generation of her family to hold a University of Dayton diploma.

The University of Dayton consistently ranks in the top 20 in the country in the graduation rate of its student-athletes. All seven seniors on the National Invitation Tournament-winning men's basketball game will don a cap and gown and receive their diplomas.

Another 372 graduate students will receive diplomas in a separate ceremony at 9:45 a.m. Saturday, May 1, in the University of Dayton Arena.

The University will award a record 44 doctoral degrees Saturday. The doctoral program in physical therapy has boosted that number. Thirty-four of the graduates Saturday are from that program.

Lucking also will be at this ceremony. Her son, David, will be graduating with a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.

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