Nacogdoches, Texas - Approximately 1,400 Stephen F. Austin State University students are expected to receive diplomas during dual commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 11, in William R. Johnson Coliseum.

Due to the high number of expected graduates this spring, commencement exercises will be split into two ceremonies for the first time in the university's history. About 700 SFA graduates will participate in each ceremony.

Graduates from SFA's James I. Perkins College of Education and College of Fine Arts will participate in a 9:30 a.m. ceremony. Candidates from the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, the Nelson Rusche College of Business, the College of Liberal and Applied Arts, and the College of Sciences and Mathematics will participate in a 2 p.m. ceremony. Master's and doctoral candidates will graduate with their respective colleges.

Stephen F. Austin State University alumnus James H. Dickerson of New Braunfels, a former member of the SFA Board of Regents, will offer the commencement address during both ceremonies. Dickerson retired from Dow Chemical Company in 2004 after working for 26 years as an attorney in the company's Intellectual Property Department, serving in Texas, Michigan, California and Zurich, Switzerland.

Of the 1,400 degrees to be awarded, 1,087 will be bachelor's degrees, along with 303 master's degrees and 10 doctoral degrees. An estimated 321 students will graduate with honors, including 124 cum laude, 98 magna cum laude and 99 summa cum laude.