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Dec. 11, 2007
CONTACT: Ward Mullens

EMU Commencement Ceremony set for Sunday, Dec. 16, at 2 P.m.

YPSILANTI - Approximately 1,800 students will be eligible to participate in Eastern Michigan University’s winter commencement ceremony Sunday, Dec. 16 at 2 p.m. at the Convocation Center.

Richard L. Baird, global managing partner – people for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, will be the keynote speaker. Doors open at 12:45 p.m. Tickets are limited to graduates and their families and friends.

Dr. Donald M. Loppnow, provost and executive vice president for EMU, will preside over the ceremony. Approximately 1,200 undergraduates and 593 graduate students (including nine doctoral candidates) are eligible to participate.

Serving as grand marshal for the ceremony will be Russ Larson, professor of English language and literature. Faculty marshals are Kunal Banerji, management; and D. Robert Okopny, accounting and finance.

The EMU Symphonic Band, conducted by John Zastoupil, will provide music. The Army ROTC will provide the Color Guard.

In his current position, Baird is responsible for human resources (including international assignments) and learning and education for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ (PwC) 150,000 partners and staff.  He previously had served as PwC Global Operations Leader – Assurance.

Baird left PricewaterhouseCoopers in 1998 to become corporate vice president for LAI Worldwide and president of their subsidiary, LAIcompass.com, specializing in internet-based assessment and mid-level recruitment.  His company was sold to TMP Worldwide in late 1999 and their online assessment became part of the Internet service offering under Monster.com.  Baird rejoined PwC in 2000.

Baird’s relationship with EMU began in the 1970s when he joined the University as director of alumni relations.


Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.

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