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University of Iowa News Release

May 3, 2006

UI College Of Liberal Arts And Sciences To Honor Top Graduates At May 12 Reception

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences has invited more than 300 of its top May graduates to the annual Commencement Honors Reception on Friday, May 12, from 4:30-6 p.m. in the 2nd Floor Ballroom at the Iowa Memorial Union.

The reception honors students who have earned highest distinction, high distinction, distinction, or honors in a particular department, and gives them an opportunity to introduce their parents, families and guests to collegiate faculty and administrators, including Linda Maxson, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences.

Maxson said she initiated this tradition in May 1998 at the end of her first academic year at the UI to give additional recognition to the college's highest achieving students.

"These students are simply outstanding in their fields and have achieved a level of excellence that deserves extra attention," she said.

To graduate with honors, students must complete the honors requirements for their major, including an honors thesis supervised by a faculty advisor. Students graduating with honors wear white cordons draped over their shoulders at the commencement ceremony.

Earning distinction, high distinction, or highest distinction depends on the student's class rank. Students in the top two percent of the class (for May 2006 graduates this includes those with grade-point averages of 4.00) earn highest distinction. Students in the next highest three percent (for May 2006, 3.85-3.99 g.p.a.) earn high distinction. Students in the next highest five percent (for May 2006, 3.74-3.84 g.p.a.) earn distinction.

To graduate with distinction, students must have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours in residence in the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences and at least 45 of the final 60 semester hours must have been completed prior to the final semester of registration. These students can be identified at commencement by stars worn on the left sleeve: three stars for Highest Distinction, two stars for High Distinction and one star for Distinction.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Mary Geraghty Kenyon, 319-384-0011, or Lesly Huffman, 319-384-0077,