CEDAR FALLS, Iowa – The University of Northern Iowa will host its annual fall Commencement ceremony at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 15, in the McLeod Center. This year’s Commencement speaker delivering the student address is Jo Ellen Latham, a candidate for Doctor of Education: Educational Leadership.
Approximately 560 graduates will participate in Commencement. The names of candidates will be read by Nichole Zumbach Harken, instructor of communication studies.
The individual receiving an honorary degree is Jane Jennison Elliott. Elliott is an internationally known teacher, lecturer, race activist and advocate for diversity education. She is a Riceville, Iowa, native and UNI alumna. She earned a teaching certificate in 1954 and degree in elementary education in 1974.
Like mane Panthers, after graduating from UNI, Elliott returned to her hometown to give back to her community and to the state of Iowa and started teaching third grade. She developed a world-famous teaching strategy to demonstrate how easily prejudice, inequality and racism can exist and thrive and how education about structural inequality can prevent it and change people's lives for the better. Elliott's "blue eyes/brown eyes" exercise was initiated in 1968 when, after the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., she realized that simply having a discussion about racism with her classroom full of all-white students would not effectively teach them about the cultural impact and legacy of prejudice, structural inequality and racism.
The Commencement ceremony will be streamed live at it.uni.edu/live. For more information, visit registrar.uni.edu/graduation-and-commencement/fall.
Joyce Morrow, university registrar, registrar’s office, 319-273-2244, firstname.lastname@example.org
Office of University Relations, 319-273-2761