Frostburg State University will celebrate and recognize the achievements of its December 2008 graduating class during the University’s 133rd commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 20, in the Harold J. Cordts Physical Education Center’s Main Arena on the FSU campus.
Dr. Jonathan C. Gibralter, FSU President, will confer degrees on graduates during exercises throughout the day. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences ceremonies will start at 10 a.m. and the College of Business and the College of Education will present degrees at 2 p.m.
In addition, FSU will grant Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards to Mary Beth Pirolozzi and Dr. Donald D. Forrester.
Lainie Henry, College of Business; Dean Mulcaster, College of Education; and Kaiti Robinson, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, are the featured student speakers for the winter commencement exercises.
Business Administration major Lainie Henry could well be described as a people person. The Everett, Pa., native spent her time at FSU serving various student and civic organizations in addition to making great grades. She was Vice President of Membership for her sorority, Delta Zeta, Director of Corporate Relations for the Society of Human Resource Management, and participated in groups like Big Brothers and Big Sisters, all while maintaining a 3.5 GPA and being a 10-time scholarship recipient. With so many positive experiences working with people, Henry undoubtedly has a bright future in human resources, her chosen concentration in the College of Business.
Dean Mulcaster’s journey in education has taken him all over the map. The Australia native lived Down Under and in Pennsylvania before settling in Frostburg with his family. It’s a worldly lesson in learning that has helped him shine. In his Elementary Social Studies and Curriculum and Methods class, Mulcaster had to learn all of American history, a challenge that he met by studying tirelessly and earning the highest score on his exam. Mulcaster’s other achievements include playing an active role in the Children’s Literature Centre activities and interning in schools in Allegany County as part of his degree in Early Childhood/Elementary Education. Professors praise him for his “gentle sense of humor, flexibility and love of children,” as well as his ability to “work with a variety of ability levels and personalities,” qualities that will serve him well in his career as an educator.
Frostburg, Md. resident Kaiti Robinson used her drive and ambition to turn a well-rounded college experience into a focused career path. She applied her skills and gained professional experience at various campus offices while completing a B.F.A. in Art and Design and maintaining a 3.9 GPA. She worked as a graphic design coordinator for the Center for Volunteerism, served as design manager for FSU’s Bottom Line and did an internship with FSU’s Cultural Events Series. Robinson also found time to attend national conferences. Today she graduates in only 3 and a half years with a salaried, full-time position at Alliance Publishing and Marketing. She clearly has an eye for not only art and design, but also for pursuing her personal success on all fronts, in creative, holistic ways.
At the morning ceremony, FSU will honor alumna and Cumberland, Md., City Councilwoman Mary Beth Pirolozzi. Pirolozzi has turned a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s in education into a comprehensive, highly successful career of leadership, public service and community involvement. She spent over 18 years in state government as District Administrator to state senators and currently is the Executive Director of County United Way, which serves counties in Maryland and West Virginia. A 34-year resident of Cumberland, Pirolozzi has also offered her leadership skills to her resident city; she was appointed as City Councilwoman in 2004, and was recently elected to a full 4-year term. Her dedication to FSU runs deep: she worked in personnel, finance and development and alumni programs at FSU from 1971 to 1987. She is also an FSU Foundation Board member, a past president of the FSU alumni association and is involved with Women in Leadership through FSU’s J. Glenn Beall Institute for Public Affairs, along with many other commitments to FSU.
Alumnus Dr. Donald D. Forrester will be honored at the afternoon ceremony. Forrester has given a lifetime of commitment to his community and to education. Upon receiving a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from FSU in 1967, he went on to receive six graduate degrees, including an Ed.D. in educational leadership. His leadership roles include everything from serving on the Board of Education in Maryland’s Garrett County to working as a principal at several Maryland elementary schools to being a lecturer in FSU’s Educational Professions Department. His active career in education has led to recognitions such as an Honorary Life Membership in the Maryland Congress of Parents and Teachers and an Administrator of the Year award. Forrester has also contributed many hours of service to the American Red Cross, Greater Alleghenies Region, as a member of the organization’s Community Relations Committee and as a director on the Blood Services Board. Additionally, he is an ordained minister, a church pastor and has worked as a chaplain for Garrett County Memorial Hospital since 2004.
Provost Dr. Stephen Simpson; Dr. Ken Witmer, dean of the College of Education; Dr. Danny Arnold, dean of the College of Business; and Dr. Joseph Hoffman, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, will present candidates for degrees during commencement.
Tickets are not required for admission to the winter commencement. For more information, visit www.frostburg.edu/events/commencement.
FSU is committed to making all of its programs, services and activities accessible to persons with disabilities. To request accommodations through the ADA Compliance Office, call 301-687-4102 or use a Voice Relay Operator at 1-800-735-2258.