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University of Iowa News Release


May 9, 2007

CLAS To Honor Top Graduates At May 11 Reception

The University of Iowa College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) has invited 285 of its top May graduates to the annual Commencement Honors Reception from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 11 in the second-floor ballroom of the Iowa Memorial Union.

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

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 member. Students graduating with honors wear white cordons draped over their shoulders at the commencement ceremony.

Earning highest distinction, high distinction or distinction depends on the student's class rank. Students in the top 2 percent of the class earn highest distinction. For May 2007 graduates, this includes students with grade-point averages of 4.00. Students in the next-highest 3 percent earn high distinction. For May 2007, this includes students with grade-point averages of 3.89 to 3.99. Students in the next-highest 5 percent earn distinction. For May 2007, this includes students with grade-point averages of 3.75 to 3.88.

To graduate with distinction, students must have completed a minimum of 60 semester hours in residence in the CLAS, 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.

CONTACTS: Media: Nicole Riehl, 319-384-0070,;