June is a month of celebration at JIU as we hail the class of 2012 and revel in their achievements. We are particularly excited for our 2012 Commencement as our virtual ceremony will include many new cutting-edge technological features and for the first time, we will host our Doctoral Graduates at the JIU campus for their official hooding ceremony. This year we are proud to graduate our largest class to date with 778 students completing their degrees. Of these graduates, thirty will receive their Doctoral Hood and 7 are JIU Associates! Congratulations to all our 2012 Graduates.
We are also excited to announce our Commencement Speaker – George Karl, Head Coach for the Denver Nuggets. Coach George Karl lives his life with two rules: Never leave your team, and fight until the bitter end. He has followed this mantra throughout his NBA career as well as in his personal life.
Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, George grew up on a basketball court. He played for the North Carolina Tar Heels where he helped lead his team to the NCAA Final Four. His passion for the game continued as he went from journeyman guard in both the ABA and NBA, to NBA Head Coach.
During his 20 year career, George Karl has overcome many obstacles. He is one of only seven coaches in the history of the league to amass 1,000 victories while guiding his teams to 20 straight winning seasons (tied for 1st in NBA history). Though never wavering from his rules, George Karl was forced to step down from his role as Denver Nuggets Head Coach in the middle of the 2010–2011 NBA season to battle a far more deadly foe: Cancer.
This bout with cancer was not George’s first experience with the disease. He fought it and won in 2005 and also supported his son Coby when he was diagnosed with the disease. And though he had to watch from the sideline as the Nuggets started the 2011–2012 NBA season, George persevered again and won his second battle with cancer.
George continues to battle cancer off-the-court, contributing his valuable time and energy to various cancer-fighting organizations. He also established the George Karl Foundation, a non-profit created to support organizations that are close to the heart of George and his family such as cancer care programs, education, animal rights and environmental initiatives.
We look forward to Commencement 2012! Please join us for the JIU Virtual Commencement on June 29!