UNK- Retired Nebraska Senator and Chair of the Legislative Education Committee, Ardyce Bohlke will address the University of Nebraska at Kearney graduates Fri., May 5. Commencement exercises are scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. in the Health and Sports Center.

Bohlke, a native of Hastings, will address the 623 students that are set to graduate from UNK, the largest graduating class since 1994. Of those graduates, 543 will receive bachelor’s degrees, 64 will receive master’s degrees and 16 education specialist degrees will be awarded.

In addition to the conferral of degrees, James Armitage, dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center will receive the UNK Distinguished Service Award. Originally from Kearney, Armitage graduated from UNMC in 1973 and completed a fellowship in hematology-oncology at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics in 1977. In 1979 he returned to the University of Iowa as an assistant professor of medicine where he developed and directed their Bone Marrow Transplant Program. In 1982 he came to UNMC as an associate professor of medicine and was promoted to professor of internal medicine, chief of the section of oncology/hematology, chair of the department of internal medicine and his current position of dean of the College of Medicine. He is the past president of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and is the current president of the American Society of Blood and Marrow Transplantation. In addition, he has authored or co-authored 300 articles, 50 book chapters, 285 abstracts and is the editor of 12 books.

A.F. “Tony” Raimondo, Chairman and CEO of Behlen Mfg. Co. in Columbus will address honors students and their families at the Honors Convocation breakfast preceding the graduation ceremonies. Amy Bandemer of Grand Island will give the senior response at the honors event. UNK Chancellor Gladys Styles Johnston will give the welcome to the graduation exercises, NU Regent Kent Schroeder will offer the commencement greeting and Judith Henggeler Spohr, President of the UNK Alumni Association, will extend greetings on behalf of the association.

Also addressing the graduates will be UNK graduating senior Julinne Beth Johnson of Geneva. M. Jeanne Raimondo of Columbus and Jerrid Washburn of South Sioux City will give the invocation and benediction, respectively. Solomon Senrick of Hebron will sing the national anthem and will lead the singing of the alma mater. Other special music will be provided by the UNK Symphonic Band, directed by Gary Davis, and the Choraleers under the direction of David Bauer.