Skip to content Skip to main navigation Skip to footer

Student speakers chosen for Commencement

Nearly 1,400 graduates eligible to walk in May 7 ceremony at Key Stadium

Two students – a Fulbright scholar and a soon-to-be physical therapist – will join NPR host Steve Inskeep as speakers for the May 7 commencement ceremony at the University of Indianapolis.


Representing the undergraduate Class of 2016 will be Ahmed “Zak” Mitiche, a double major in Sociology and Philosophy. The Pike High School graduate has been awarded a grant from the Fulbright U.S. Student Program to spend the coming year in Morocco studying its pro-democracy movement.

The son of Farid and Fouzia Mitiche of Indianapolis, he has been active in student organizations and service projects as well as a standout on the Greyhound soccer team.


Representing graduate students earning master’s and doctoral degrees this year will be Maria Eller, who will receive her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree. During her time at UIndy, Eller has undertaken clinical experiences in Indianapolis, Greenfield, Urbana, Ill., and Palmer, Alaska. She also taught communication courses as an adjunct faculty member, taught Sunday school at neighboring University Heights United Methodist Church and served as class representative for her peers in the DPT program. She is the daughter of Dean and Melanie Eller of Lowell, Ind.

Nearly 1,400 graduates from 30 states and 29 nations are eligible to walk before an audience of thousands during the 11 a.m. outdoor ceremony at UIndy’s Key Stadium. The event also will include the awarding of honorary degrees to Inskeep, local real estate developer Gene Zink and internationally known singer-actress Jearlyn Steele, who will perform a song. The proceedings will be webcast live at More information on the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters recipients is available at this link.

By the numbers: UIndy’s Class of 2016

  • 907 undergraduates
  • 393 master’s degree recipients
  • 78 doctoral degree recipients
  • 1,378 graduates from home campus
  • 30 states and 29 nations represented
  • 79 additional graduates at international partner sites
  • Total: 1,457 graduates