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Three to Receive Frostburg State University Alumni Achievement Awards
09/12/2000

The Frostburg State University Alumni Association will honor three alumni with its most prestigious award during this fall's "All-American Homecoming" celebration. The recipients of the FSU Alumni Achievement Award include Noel T. Kunkle, Williamsport, Md; William Graves, LaPlata, Md.; and Eric Udler, Rockville, Md.

Criteria for this award include: outstanding professional career growth; community involvement; demonstrated interested in FSU; special achievements, awards, honors and distinctions; and educational background which includes honors and involvement in special activities.

"Frostburg has been an important part of my life for almost 40 years," says Noel Kunkle. Since receiving his B.S. in music education from Frostburg State in 1966, he has maintained strong ties to FSU throughout his active career as choral and band director for several Washington County schools. His ties to the university extend to his personal life - he met his wife at FSU, and his two daughters are also Frostburg alumnae. From 1987 to 1991 he was a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors and, last year, of the Bobcat Club Executive Committee.

While directing music in the Washington County schools, Kunkle also earned an M.A. from FSU in counseling and guidance in 1974, served as jazz director of the American Music Abroad Summer Tour of Europe from 1988-1997 and coordinated concert and marching activities for Washington County. Until retiring in 1997, he was active in the MMEA and MENC professional music associations, the Washington County Teachers Association and the Lions Club of Clear Spring and Williamsport.

Kunkle also contributed his musical talents to the community by serving as choir director and bell choir director, directing several Lions Club minstrel shows and playing in the Hagerstown and Williamsport community bands. His honors include participating in the 1975 Presidential Inaugural Parade and the 1991 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, receiving the 1995 Award of Excellence Teacher of the Year award, adjudicating various music festivals throughout the region and directing the Baltimore County All County Band.

During the 1999-2000 academic year, Kunkle served as director of bands at FSU. Of the experience, he says, "You cannot imagine the excitement, the anticipation and the pride I had to be able to come back home and give something back to a school that had given me so much."

William Graves credits FSU for giving him what he most values - family, friends and career. His wife is also an FSU graduate, several friends are FSU graduates and, he says, "Frostburg also prepared me for life as a citizen and trained me to be a quality educator."

After graduating in 1965 with a B.S. in history, Graves taught social studies for five years at Robert Goddard Junior High School. In 1971, he earned an M.S. in Counseling & Guidance from FSU. Since then, he has served as a guidance counselor in several Prince George's County high schools; he is currently at High Point High School.

In addition to counseling students, Graves has been active in other areas. He has served on numerous school committees, coached football, trained new counselors, spoken at a variety of school-related functions and acted as a representative for the teacher's union. He belongs to several associations for teachers and for counselors, from the local to national level. And he has assisted with history curriculum development, and helped develop educational materials for use in the county's high school guidance programs related to preparation for work and college. In addition to receiving Certificates of Recognition for his service to the county, Graves has received a number of awards from several high school Parent Teacher Student Associations and other organizations. He is also active in community youth athletic organizations, the county's speaker's bureau and a local citizen's association.

Throughout the course of his career, Graves has remained involved with FSU. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the FSU Alumni Association and currently serves as the chair of the Career Connections Committee. In addition, he has helped plan all of his class reunions and has served as a keynote speaker at FSU's Student Leadership Recognition Dinner. As a part of the University's Centennial Campaign, Graves successfully spearheaded an effort to raise funds for the Richard Sloop Leadership Program.

Ultimately, Graves says, "I believe that my greatest contribution to Frostburg has been the students I've directed to my university in the past twenty-four years."

Eric Udler, class of 1990, represents a new breed of business professional - the entrepreneur, focused on providing excellent customer service and enthusiastic about the potential of emerging technologies. Less than 10 years after graduation, he felt ready to launch FSI, a company specializing in helping associations and tradeshow producers increase revenue. The self-funded company now employs eight, recently acquired another tradeshow company and maintains a Web site, www.generaterevenue.com.

Udler credits his alma mater for his current success. "FSU is the foundation from which I was able to mature, learn and during my college years, " he says. He cites Drs. Brooks Honeycutt and Judy Pula for helping him learn skills essential to survival in business.

An extensive background in marketing and management also helped prepare Udler for his current position. Before venturing forth with his own business, he spent four years as national accounts manager for Consumer Electronics Shows, where he was named a Triple Crown Winner for achieving all sales goals in 1998 and 1999. For the previous three years, he was an exhibit sales manager for the National Association of Broadcasters, where he increased the number of exhibitors and revenue. He also worked as an exhibit sales coordinator for the National Solid Wastes Management Association and as an account executive for the New York Graphics Show.

Since 1992, Udler has been active in the International Association for Exhibition Management. He is now chair of the Washington, D.C. chapter, where he previously served as vice chair and was responsible for increasing meeting attendance and profitability. He has also written numerous articles for professional publications, led training sessions and conducted presentations, including one for FSU. In the community, he has volunteered with B'nai Brith Youth Organization, the Whitman Walker Clinic and the Bethesda Women's Shelter. He is also a supporter of the Ronald McDonald House.

Udler maintains ties with Sigma Tau Gamma, which, he says, "provided me with an opportunity to develop my leadership skills."

The Alumni Achievement Awards will be presented to the winners at the 2000 Career Day Luncheon on Friday, Oct. 6 in the Lane Center Multi-Use Room.

For more information about the 2000 All-American Homecoming activities at FSU, contact the Office of Alumni Affairs at 301-687-4068 or visit the Web site at www.frostburg.edu.

FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. You may request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, 301-687-4102, TDD 301-687-7955.

For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589
E-mail: news@frostburg.edu