Frostburg State University's commencement ceremonies, originally
scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 19, have been rescheduled to a SINGLE
CEREMONY on Monday, Dec. 21, at 11 a.m.in the Harold J. Cordts
Physical Education Center’s Main Arena on the FSU campus.
A major winter storm is affecting the entire mid-Atlantic area. FSU
officials realize that this option may be difficult for many, but we need
to keep safety in the forefront, without disappointing our students
who have worked so hard for this day. In addition, any student who is
unable to make this rescheduled ceremony will have the option of
walking during the spring commencement ceremonies.
Frostburg State University will celebrate and recognize the
achievements of its 2009 graduating class during the University’s
135th commencement ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 19, 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
Business and the College of Education ceremonies will start at 10 a.m.
and the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will present degrees at 2
In addition, FSU will grant Distinguished Alumni Achievement
Awards to Barbara R. Graves and Kenneth A. Oldham Jr.
Emily Morrison, College of Business; Kelly Elliton, College of
Education; and Deeannah Taylor, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences,
are the featured student speakers for the winter commencement
Emily Morrison, the speaker for the College of Business, is called
“a rare gem” of a student and uniquely well-rounded by her professors,
who praise her stellar academics and her interest in the arts and
service. Morrison, from Martinsburg, W.Va., is graduating with a major
in accounting, with concentrations in business administration and
dance. She has received numerous awards, including the Accounting
Department Scholarship and the Sarfino and Rhoades Scholarship, and
was inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honorary Fraternity.
As a Summer Youth Employment Program coordinator for WorkForce
WV last summer, she placed and monitored 50 youths in 18 job sites.
She has also successfully completed an internship with a CPA firm in
Hagerstown, Md. In addition to her exceptional academic and
internship performance, Morrison has been active on campus, dancing
with the FSU Dance Company, volunteering for the Volunteer Income
Tax Assistance program and tutoring in financial and managerial
Kelly Elliton, of Huntingtown, Md., the commencement speaker for
the College of Education, impressed her professors because she is “so
willing to give of herself for the sake of the children she teaches.” An
elementary education major with a specialization in elementary and
middle school math, she was a co-chair for Read Across America at
FSU, where she organized and assigned volunteers, and was a race
marshal and time-keeper for the Special Olympics in two locations.
She was honored with the Senatorial Scholarship at FSU and the
Academic Excellence Award and the Future Teacher’s Club Leadership
Award at the College of Southern Maryland. She is active in the
Maryland State Education Association and the FSU chapter of the
Maryland Student Education Association. Rated by her professors as
“flexible and able to adapt to changing classroom environments, as
well as organized and enthusiastic in the classroom,” Elliton will serve
her future students well.
Deeannah Taylor of Glen Burnie, Md., speaker for the College of
Liberal Arts and Sciences, will graduate with a double major in Spanish
and psychology while demonstrating a rigorous academic excellence,
an active role in extracurricular activities, and, most importantly, a
devotion to the care of her 5-year-old daughter. Taylor won the Best
Presentation Award at the departmental research symposium,
discussing internship research on the redesigned General Psychology
course. She was the unanimous choice for undergraduate learning
assistant for that course and was teaching assistant for the Summer
Online Freshmen Initiative. She studied in Spain in 2007, one of only
four FSU students chosen, and has been a camp counselor and taught
Spanish in an elementary after-school program. Her motivation is to
help others, particularly children; she will continue her education to
become a clinical child psychologist.
At the morning ceremony, FSU will honor alumna Barbara R.
Graves, class of 1966, of La Plata, Md. For over 40 years, Graves’
willingness to find new ways to engage her students and colleagues in
the learning process has led to respect from her peers and success
from her students. She started her career teaching high school social
studies, then moved into supervision and curriculum development. She
also worked in the professional development of educators, within
school systems, for national organizations and businesses and in
McDaniel College’s graduate program. Graves “challenged her students
academically in the classroom, as she opened her heart in the most
gracious way to share their joys and sorrows,” says a fellow alum, with
a vision of education clearly focused on how to best meet students’
needs. Even in retirement, she continues to work for her profession,
creating and leading a new-teacher mentoring program in Charles
Alumnus Kenneth A. Oldham Jr. will be honored at the afternoon
ceremony. In less than five years as president of the National
Philharmonic, Oldham, class of 1998, has transformed it from a small
$350,000 community orchestra and chorale into a $2 million regional
powerhouse performing at the world-class Music Center at Strathmore
in North Bethesda. The National Philharmonic will perform for more
than 50,000 people in the 2009-2010 Strathmore season, including
20,000 second- and fifth-graders. Oldham is a member of the FSU
Foundation’s Board of Directors, sits on the Steering Committee of
Staking Our Claim: The Campaign for Frostburg and is a member of
FSU’s Old Main Society. He chairs the Community Arts Grants
Committee at the Frederick Arts Council and is a 2008 graduate and
current member of Leadership Montgomery. Oldham lives with his wife,
Leilani, and son, Landon, in Frederick, Md.
Provost Dr. Stephen Simpson; Dr. Ken Witmer, dean of the College
of Education; Dr. Ahmad Tootoonchi, interim 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
Tickets are not required for admission to the winter
commencement. For more information, visit
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.