UIW grads pose during fall commencement.

UIW conferred degrees to over 1,200 students, the largest UIW Fall graduating class to date, at the Joe and Harry Freeman Coliseum on Dec. 10.

At the ceremony, former UIW President Dr. Louis J. Agnese, Jr., who retired in December, was honored with the titles of president emeritus and trustee emeritus for his 31 years of service to the university. Board of Trustees Chair Charlie Lutz presented the honors. The 2016 Moody Professor, Dr. John Perry, presented the commencement address. Perry is a full professor in the Department of Communication Arts in the School of Media and Design. He also served as chair of the speech department for 20 years.

The 2016 Alumni of Distinction for Service in Mission was presented to Dr. Maria Falcon-Cantrill. Falcon-Cantrill is a 2001 graduate of UIW, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology with a minor in chemistry. In 2007, she completed her Doctor of Medicine degree at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.

In addition, Dr. Jei-Fu Shaw was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters. Shaw has served as president of I-Shou University, a UIW sister school, in Taiwan since 2011. Shaw is a renowned international scientist and an expert in functional genes and biotechnology and his achievements have earned him international acclaim. Shaw holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Arkansas and a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Chemistry from the National Taiwan University.