Approximately 60 University of Evansville students will receive degrees during the Winter Commencement ceremony at 3:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 14, in Carson Center on UE’s campus. After the event, there will be a reception sponsored by the UE Alumni Association in the Class of 1959 Gallery and Lounge in Ridgway University Center.
The ceremony will include the announcement of the recipient of the 2016 Exemplary Teacher Award, presented by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church.
During the event, an honorary degree will be bestowed upon Donald (Donnie) J. Dunville.
For 42 years, Dunville has served the University as a maintenance technician, providing routine and emergency upkeep and repairs across all campus facilities. He goes above and beyond to ensure that UE facilities are safe and secure, attractive, and functionally satisfactory. The student experience is of the utmost importance to him.
Dunville interacts with and supports students in numerous ways. He has been involved in the TKE fraternity, and participated in the Jingle Bell Run to support UE’s AOII chapter. He has supported UE student runners at the Kentucky Derby Half-Marathon, and served as UE’s lead rower in the Midwest Dragon Boat Race. Dunville has worked as a United Way Day of Caring volunteer and as a Neu Chapel wedding attendant.
In addition, Dunville has selflessly provided leadership to a state-wide educational initiative – Indiana Outreach to Teach – hosted by Indiana Student Education Association impacting education in the state of Indiana. His understanding, insightfulness, and sound judgment created the foundation for this transformative program throughout the state.
His goal is always the betterment of the University and the world beyond. Dunville lives and breathes UE’s mission of learning. He is an altruistic thread in the fabric of the institution.
This year’s winter commencement speaker is Kevin Gray, UE associate professor of sociology in the Department of Law, Politics, and Society. Gray received the 2016 Outstanding Teacher of the Year Award at May’s commencement ceremony. The University of Evansville Alumni Association presents this award annually to a faculty member who is nominated by students, faculty, or administrators for his or her exemplary teaching abilities.
Gray earned his undergraduate degree from Spring Hill College in sociology, his MS in criminal justice from the University of Alabama, and his PhD in criminal justice from Michigan State University. He was nominated for the Outstanding Teacher of the Year award not only by students but also alumni, faculty members, and administrators. Those nominating him described him as a brilliant and witty teacher who has a genuine interest in his students. His teaching style was described as both entertaining and challenging.
For those who cannot attend winter commencement in person, a video of the ceremony will stream live at www.evansville.edu/live.