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BLOOMINGTON — Colleges and universities in Central Illinois will have commencement ceremonies this month, starting with Lincoln Christian College and Illinois Wesleyan University this weekend and Illinois State University on May 10 and 11.

IWU's ceremony will be at 1 p.m. Sunday on the Kemp Commencement Plaza at State Farm Hall. In the event of inclement weather, it will be moved to Shirk Center. There are 413 intended graduates in the Class of 2019.

Dr. Stephen Ondra, a 1980 IWU graduate, former military surgeon and leading health care policy expert, will be the guest speaker.

Ondra is founder and CEO of North Star Healthcare Consulting. He served in the Executive Office of the President during the Obama administration, where one of his duties was serving on the Implementation Deputy Group for the Affordable Care Act.

ISU will award 3,523 baccalaureate degrees and 708 graduate degrees during separate commencement ceremonies for its six colleges.

They are: Mennonite College of Nursing, 4 p.m. May 10, Braden Auditorium; College of Arts and Sciences, 7 p.m. May 10, Redbird Arena; College of Education, 8:30 a.m. May 11; College of Applied Sciences and Technology, noon May 11, Redbird Arena; College of Business, 5 p.m. May 11, Redbird Arena; and College of Fine Arts, 8 p.m., Braden Auditorium.

Others include:

Lincoln Christian College: 10 a.m. Saturday, Hargrove Chapel, undergraduates, 63 graduates anticipated; speaker, Zach Thompson, Class of 2019; 1 p.m. Saturday, Hargrove Chapel, seminary and graduate degrees, 53 graduates anticipated; speaker, Ken Idleman, Class of 1969, vice president of leadership development, The Solomon Foundation; also honoring legacies of the school's founders, Earl C. Hargrove and Charles Mills, on the 75th anniversary of its founding on May 4, 1944.

Lincoln College: 12:30 p.m. May 11, Jack D. Nutt Arena, Lincoln Center, about 218 graduates; commencement speaker and honorary degree recipient, Lawrence Thomas, business and community leader; honorary degree recipient, John Blackburn, business leader, former Lincoln College president. Blackburn and Thomas will participate in an “Excellence in Leadership” panel at 3 p.m. May 10 in the Johnston Center for the Performing Arts.

Eureka College: 10:30 a.m. May 11, Bollwinkle Arena and Convocation Center, 139 graduates expected; speaker, 1989 Eureka College graduate Tony Byerly, Securitas Electronic Security president; baccalaureate service at 6 p.m. May 10 in Becker Auditorium at Cerf Center; speaker, the Rev. Judith Guy, pastor of Mackinaw Christian Church.

Heartland Community College: 6:30 p.m. May 17, Grossinger Motors Arena, downtown Bloomington, about 225 graduates are expected to participate; speaker, Chris Marx, owner of Redbird Plumbing, 2019 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient.

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Contact Lenore Sobota at (309) 820-3240. Follow her on Twitter: @Pg_Sobota

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Education Reporter

Education Reporter for The Pantagraph.

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