Former University of New Mexico alumnus Stephen Mitchell, a registered professional engineer who is president of the Knight Group, a Chicago-based privately held firm involved in the start-up, development and management of new ventures, will deliver the keynote address at the UNM fall commencement on Friday, Dec. 13, 6 p.m. at University Arena, The Pit.

Approximately 1,937 students are projected to receive degrees from UNM's Albuquerque and Extended University campuses as follows: 1,265 bachelor's degrees, 385 master's degrees, 142 associate’s degree, 66 doctoral, 22 juris doctorates, four medical doctorates, 12 graduate certificates and nine educational specialist degrees. An official degree count is determined following Commencement.

At UNM-Gallup, 52 associate degrees and 29 certificates; at Los Alamos, 10 associate degrees; at Taos, nine associate degrees and 10 certificates; and at Valencia, 64 associate degrees are projected.

Prior to the founding of Knight Group, Mitchell was president, chief operating officer and director of Lester B. Knight & Associates, an international professional services firm involved in the planning, design and construction of world-class advanced technology research and development and manufacturing facilities. Mitchell was with the firm for 27 years and was one of the two principal owners successfully guiding the firm’s transition into the advanced technology markets. The firm employed over 700 persons in 12 offices in six countries. 

UNM President Robert G. Frank will give opening remarks, greet the graduates and confer degrees. Additionally, Frank will give the first-ever Presidential Award of Distinction to recipients Steven Brueck and Cleve Moler. Frank established the new award, which will be one of the university’s most prestigious, to recognize outstanding career achievement, scholarly excellence, leadership in a profession, noteworthy public service or humanitarian endeavor.

Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs Chaouki Abdallah will recognize graduates with honors, graduating service members and ROTC Commissions.

Richard Holder, Faculty Senate president, will preside and UNM regents, administrators, deans and faculty are among the platform group. Randy Royster, president of the Alumni Association, will offer closing remarks. University Secretary Vivian Valencia is chief marshal.

The prelude and processional will be played by University Double Brass Quintet. Daniela Deuel, who is currently pursuing her love of music through a bachelor’s degree in Music Education, will sing the national anthem and alma mater.

College, branch and departmental convocation ceremonies are scheduled Dec. 12-14.

For more information, visit: convocation schedule.