Former legislator to speak at DACC commencement

DANVILLE — Danville Area Community College officials will confer nearly 450 associate degrees and certificates, and nearly 200 graduates will participate in this year's commencement exercises.

The ceremony will be held at 7 p.m. Friday in the Mary Miller gymnasium at DACC, 2000 E. Main St., Danville.

Former state Rep. Bill Black, who's currently a Ward 7 alderman on the Danville City Council, will deliver the commencement address.

A Danville native, Black has had a long and distinguished career in public service including Vermilion County Board member and chairman. In 1986, he was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Illinois House when the late Harry "Babe" Woodyard assumed a seat in the Senate. Black was later elected to represent the 105th House District, a position he held for nearly 24 years. He retired in 2011.

Black is a DACC alumnus and former instructor and administrator. Last year, college officials named a $5.2 million addition to the Mary Miller Complex after him in recognition of his many contributions to the college. The William B. Black Health Professions Center houses programs in nursing, radiologic technology, sonography and echocardiography.

Black and his wife, Sharon, have two adult children and six grandchildren.

The ceremony will include graduates from both the Level I and Level II nursing programs. The nursing graduates will receive a nursing pin in addition to their certificates and diplomas.

Delivering the class responses will be Shelley D. Rodgers, of Oakwood, a summa cum laude candidate receiving a degree in administrative professional. The Pledge of Allegiance will be led by Dakota J. Owen, of Chrisman, a summa cum laude candidate receiving degree in criminal justice.

The tassel ceremony will be led by Katie E. Walder, of Hoopeston, summa cum laude candidate receiving a degree in English. The recessional will be led by summa cum laude candidates Blake R. Bodine, of Allerton, receiving a degree in history education; Kye W. Draper, of Sidell, receiving a degree in engineering; Matthew LeCleir, of Danville, receiving a degree in business/accounting, and Kristin Woods, of Danville, receiving a degree in accounting.

Graduates of distinction will be recognized during the commencement exercises. Students who have a cumulative grade-point average of 4.0 will graduate with the designation summa cum laude and will wear a gold tassel, gold cord, and a medallion. Those with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.750-3.999 will graduate with the designation magna cum laude and will wear a gold tassel and a gold cord. And those with a cumulative grade-point average of 3.50-3.749 will graduate with the designation cum laude and will wear a gold tassel. Students' ability to be recognized at the graduation ceremony is based on the cumulative grade-point average calculated at the end of the fall semester prior to the spring ceremony.

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