|Tami Carmichael to give main address at Commencement; Reception for James Ray will follow ceremonies|
Award-winning UND faculty member Tami Carmichael, coordinator of Integrated Studies, will give the main address at UND’s summer commencement Friday, August 7, at 3 p.m. in the Chester Fritz Auditorium. About 500 students are eligible to cross the stage when UND President Robert Kelley presides over the UND summer commencement. On average, UND graduates about 2,700 students total in the summer, winter and spring.
At the commencement ceremony, UND also will award an honorary Doctor of Letters degree to entrepreneur James C. Ray, president of the Aerospace Capital Group and president of the Ray Foundation. Following the commencement ceremony, there will be a reception for Ray from 5 to 7 p.m. at the James Ray Idea Lab in the Center for Innovation, 4200 James Ray Drive. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org or call (701) 777-3132.
Tami Carmichael, associate professor of humanities and integrated studies and coordinator of the UND Integrated Studies program, is the 2008 Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching North Dakota Professor of the Year. Carmichael was chosen for her impact on undergraduate students, her scholarly approach to teaching and learning, as well as contributions to her profession, her community, and especially, to undergraduate education at UND, according to the foundation.
A native of Port Allegheny, Penn., Carmichael started her teaching career at UND in 1996 as a consultant in the Writing Center and assistant coordinator of the UND Honors Program. She started teaching English as an assistant professor at UND in 1998. At the same time, she was promoted to associate coordinator of the Honors Program. She has authored and co-authored several internal grant proposals that have netted more than $40,000, allowing the UND Honors Program to improve its writing courses and the program at large. In addition, she co-authored a grant for Student Technology Fee money that established a computer lab.
Carmichael's professional interests include pedagogy and practices in general education and integrative studies, history of American undergraduate learning communities and 19th Century literature, with a concentration on women's literature and works by Herman Melville and Mark Twain.
Before coming to UND, Carmichael held an assistant teaching appointment and was an instructor in the Upward Bound Program at the University of Georgia. She's also served in instructor positions at Athens Area Technical College and Dekalb College, both in Georgia. She received the Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award from the University of Georgia in 1993.
Carmichael received her bachelor's degree from Grove City (Pa.) College, where she graduated summa cum laude. She earned her master's and Ph.D. degrees in English from the University of Georgia in 1992 and 1998, respectively.
James C. Ray
James C. Ray is president of the Aerospace Capital Group and president of the Ray Foundation of Naples, Florida. Ray has invested in more than 300 high tech aerospace and computer ventures, including Compaq Computer and Cirrus Design of Grand Forks and Duluth. Ray has funded many innovative ventures at an early research stage to advance solutions for air and pilot safety, including advancement of simulator training and curriculum development. He also is the lead investor in the Hilton Garden Inn located near the UND Center for Innovation. "Jim is one of the most accomplished angel investors in the nation," said Center for Innovation director Bruce Gjovig in his nomination letter. "He has a significant record of investing in innovation and technology entrepreneurs, matched only by large institutional funds, not individuals. He was a venture capitalist long before being a venture capitalist was cool."
Ray first heard of the University of North Dakota from his neighbor in Switzerland, Chester Fritz, in the late 1950s. At that time, Fritz was making his gift of the Chester Fritz Library for UND's 75th anniversary celebration in 1958. Fifty years later, Ray has become a major benefactor to UND, donating $12 million toward the growth of entrepreneurship and aerospace for the benefit of students, enabling these programs to become nationally and internationally recognized for excellence.
"The Entrepreneur Program at UND would not be ranked in the top 1 percent of the entrepreneur programs nationally by Princeton Review without the endowment and operating support that Jim provided," Gjovig said. "His support includes funding for interns and staff with the Center for Innovation and two faculty positions in the Department of Entrepreneurship in the spirit of a venture philanthropist making strategic investments."
Gjovig added, "What really drives Mr. Ray is the outstanding students on the UND campus. He makes sure he has great access to entrepreneur and aerospace students when he is on campus, engaging in their life stories and career goals. He has commented many times on the superior quality of our students who have good intellect, strong work ethic, and who expect to earn their way into the world."
Since the late 1960s, Ray has served as president of the Ray Foundation, which distributed millions of dollars in royalties earned from the development and sale of a cattle vaccine to a variety of programs including anti-drug education and mental health organizations.
He has been active in aviation for more than 65 years since joining the U.S. Army Air Corps following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Ray was a B-17 bomber pilot during the war. Major Ray also was on active duty with the U.S. Air Force during the Korean conflict. He has been owner and chief pilot of numerous aircraft since 1948 and has traveled the world in a jet.
-- Peter Johnson, Executive Associate Vice President for University Relations, 777-4317, email@example.com