SMWC Celebrates 173rd Commencement

April 18th, 2013 | SMWC


Elizabeth Hagerman, Ph. D., V.P. for Rose-Hulman Ventures

By Lisa Luper
Communications intern

Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College celebrates its 173rd commencement on May 4, 2013. The traditional baccalaureate mass begins at 10:30 a.m. at the Church of the Immaculate Conception. The commencement ceremony begins at 2 p.m. in the Cecilian Auditorium of the Conservatory of Music. An estimated 80 students are expected to graduate in the ceremony.

Elizabeth Hagerman, Ph.D., vice president for Rose-Hulman Ventures at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, will deliver the commencement address. Hagerman holds a bachelor’s degree from Rose-Hulman and a master’s and doctorate from the University of California, Los Angeles, in biomedical engineering with an emphasis on orthopedic biomaterials.

Hagerman previously held leadership roles at Baxter Healthcare in Los Angeles. As a biomedical engineer, she is an expert in tissue engineering, cell adhesion, bone regeneration and tissue biomineralization.  She led product acquisition, worked with research and development, coordinated academic research and managed product launches and brand development. She currently has two applications filed for patents. Hagerman will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters at the ceremony.

The College will also present Virginia (Ginger) Smith, a 1989 graduate, with the Distinguished Alumnae Award.  The Award is the highest honor the College bestows upon a graduate in recognition of her noteworthy achievements and valuable professional and personal contributions.


Virginia Smith, 1989 graduate

Smith earned her first bachelor’s degree in elementary education at Indiana State University in 1972. She volunteered and served as a substitute teacher in the Vigo County School Corporation. She earned her second degree in business administration in 1989 through the Woods External Degree (WED) program, which is now Woods Online.

Smith joined her family’s business in the banking industry as a bookkeeper and worked her way up the ranks. Today, she is a member of the board of directors of First Financial Corporation as well as president of Princeton Mining Company, Inc. She serves on the boards of many organizations including the Salvation Army, Terre Haute Symphony and Swope Art Gallery. She served as an SMWC board member from 1993-1997 and 2001-2010. 

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