News: 2015, December 7th


435 graduate degrees to be awarded at fall graduation


Auburn University will award 435 graduate degrees during the university’s two graduation ceremonies Dec. 12 in Auburn Arena.

Of the degrees to be awarded, 336 are master’s degrees, 85 are doctorates and 14 are education specialist degrees.

Auburn alumna Melissa Herkt, a 2015 recipient of the Auburn Alumni Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award, will be the speaker at the commencement ceremonies.

Herkt, a self-employed engineering consultant from Round Rock, Texas, had held executive positions with engineering firms around the globe. The Gadsden, Alabama, native earned a degree in civil engineering from Auburn in 1977 and was the first female co-op student to work for Alabama Power. Following graduation, she was hired by Exxon, where she became the first female engineer posted overseas. In that post, she was a construction engineer on a $30 million project in Denmark. She was later appointed the first female construction manager for Exxon, where she led a $300 million refinery expansion in France and a $400 million project in the UK and Denmark.

She served as president of Process Systems and Solutions – Americas, a division of Emerson Process Management, one of the largest and most respected engineering companies in the world. Herkt was responsible for a half-dozen vital industries approaching $900 million in annual revenue.

The 10 a.m. ceremony will include the colleges and schools of Engineering; Liberal Arts; Nursing; Sciences and Mathematics; and University College, formerly Interdisciplinary Studies. The 2 p.m. ceremony will be held for the colleges and schools of Agriculture; Architecture, Design and Construction; Business; Education; Forestry and Wildlife Sciences; and Human Sciences.

The ceremonies can be viewed live through the university’s website at

Since awarding its first graduate degree in 1870, the Graduate School has awarded more than 45,000 degrees. Click here to read more about fall graduation.

Last modified: March 17, 2016