More than 980 degrees will be conferred on Wednesday, May 12 at an outdoor commencement ceremony for the 2021 graduates of Indiana University South Bend. The 1,017 graduates of the Class of 2020, whose commencement was celebrated virtually last year due to the pandemic, are invited to be recognized as well. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. and will take place on the IU South Bend campus. All Indiana University commencement ceremonies are limited to graduates only and guests are invited to watch a live stream on IU’s website.
Indiana University President Michael McRobbie will preside over the ceremony and give the charge to the Classes of 2020 and 2021. IU South Bend Chancellor Susan Elrod, who has been the Chancellor of IU South Bend for nearly two years, will attend her first commencement ceremony and address the graduates. Student Government Association president and 2020 graduate Kayla Isenbletter will give the student address.
Virginia Brown Calvin will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the ceremony. Calvin was the first African American school superintendent in Indiana when she became superintendent of the South Bend Community School Corp. She also served as chancellor of Ivy Tech Community College-North Central for a decade. She and her husband Richmond Calvin, a faculty member in education and counseling at IU South Bend for 30 years, established an education scholarship for underrepresented teachers in the IU South Bend School of Education and have supported the IU South Bend Civil Rights Heritage Center through their donations and involvement in programs.
Dr. Michael L. Blakesley (BS ’74) will receive the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Award. An emergency medicine physician for 40 years, Dr. Blakesley is also an assistant professor of anatomy and cell biology at IU School of MedicineSouth Bend and adjunct assistant professor of biological science at the University of Notre Dame. Blakesley and his teaching partner were selected by their peers to receive the 2014 IU School of MedicineSouth Bend Outstanding Physicians of the Year, the School’s most prestigious award. He established the Blakesley- O’Malley 50th Anniversary Scholarship Endowment to support future students.
Diane Dudek Parmelee (BSN ’84) will receive the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award. A devoted and inspirational leader, Parmelee is director of educational services for Beacon Health in South Bend. For 41 years, Parmelee has shaped the nursing department at Memorial Hospital and Beacon Health. Known for helping every nurse who looks to her for guidance, information, and encouragement, the area’s nursing community has benefitted greatly from her knowledge and collegiality.
To provide a safe, in-person commencement experience for graduates, family and friends are invited to view the ceremony by visitingcommencement.iu.eduand clicking on the IU South Bend Commencement Ceremony. In addition, all graduates must have two negative COVID-19 tests on file with the university in order to attend commencement. Faculty and staff participating in commencement will follow the same testing protocols. All attendees will wear masks and stay socially distanced.