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May 05, 2011
University of Dubuque Announces 2011 Commencement Ceremonies

The University of Dubuque today announced the calendar of events for its 159th Commencement for 375 undergraduate, graduate, and seminary students.

College Commencement Events

The College Baccalaureate Service will be held Friday, May 13, at 5:00 p.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church. This year's Baccalaureate Service speaker will be Victor Popp, director of recreation, who has chosen Being Christ's Ambassadors in your Career and Community as the title of his remarks.

Following the Baccalaureate Service, the University will host the annual Senior Dinner for graduating seniors and their families at the Grand River Center ( by invitation only ) in the Ballroom.

The University of Dubuque will confer degrees on 283 undergraduate and 64 graduate students during its 159th College Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 14, beginning at 1:00 p.m. in the Chlapaty Recreation and Wellness Center on the University of Dubuque Campus. Joseph A. Chlapaty, chair of the UD Board of Trustees and president, CEO, and chairman of Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc., will deliver the Commencement Address titled The Noble American Experiment: What is its Future? .

Joseph A. Chlapaty (C'68) has served as a member of the Board of University Trustees since 1992, chair of the New Horizons in Excellence capital campaign in 1996, and chair of the Board of University Trustees since 2002 as well as chair of the Board's Executive Committee.

Chlapaty is one of the many first-generation college students who have defined the character of the University since its founding in 1852. His relationship with UD began with a campus visit in 1964 - before leaving campus he enrolled for classes and signed up for the football team.

During his student years, Joe played tackle on the football team and became a letterman; he joined the Phi Omicron fraternity in 1965; he majored in economics and earned the Wall Street Journal Award. He graduated cum laude in 1968, one of fourteen juniors and seniors to be selected for listing in Who's Who in American Colleges and Universities . He passed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exams in 1972, went on to earn the M.B.A. degree at De Paul University in 1976, and was awarded the degree Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa from the University of Dubuque in May 1998.

Following graduation from UD, Joe began his career at Arthur Anderson after which he worked for the Lindberg Corporation and, in 1980, was recruited by Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (ADS) a producer of corrugated plastic pipe. Through his vision and leadership the company has grown exponentially, increased its product line to meet customer needs, and has become the world's largest supplier of corrugated plastic pipe. Chlapaty was named ADS Chief Operating Officer in 1994, Chief Executive Officer in 2004, and Chairman of the Board in 2008.

A leader in business, Chlapaty models the University's challenge to alumni to be of service in their communities. He is a director of Fifth Third Bank of Columbus of Central Ohio, a member of the Ohio Foundation of Independent Colleges Board of Trustees, a director of Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, a director of the KIPP Journey Academy, a member of the Board of Trustees of Marietta College, and a former member of the Board of Directors of Lutheran Social Services.

Joe and Linda Chlapaty's commitment to the University of Dubuque's Mission and their generosity in supporting UD's Vision for the future is unparalleled. President Bullock has described Joe and Linda Chlapaty as "... two of the most philanthropic individuals we have the privilege of knowing: focused, modest, loving, driven, committed to their family, and fortunately for us, committed to the University of Dubuque."

Seminary Commencement Events

The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary Baccalaureate Service will be held Friday, May 13, at 9:30 a.m. in Blades Hall Chapel. Dr. Amanda Benckhuysen, assistant professor of Old Testament, will deliver the homily titled How Can We Keep from Singing? .

The University's Seminary will confer degrees on twenty-eight students - twenty-two master of divinity and six doctor of ministry, during the Seminary Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 14 at 9:30 a.m. at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

The Rev. Dr. Joseph D. Small, retired director of Theology Worship and Education Ministries of the Presbyterian Church (USA), will deliver the Seminary's Commencement Address titled Ministry's Passive Voice. He will be awarded the Doctor of Divinity degree, honoris causa.

Dr. Small has served as an associate pastor and pastor in Maryland, Ohio, and New York. He was formerly director of church studies, dean of students, and director of admissions at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. He is the author of To Be Reformed: Living the Tradition and Preservation of the Truth and edited Let Us Reason Together and Conversations with the Confessions .