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FSU Commencement Ceremonies Slated for Saturday, May 24th

The 122nd commencement ceremonies of Frostburg State University will be held Saturday, May 24th, in the Harold J. Cordts Center Main Arena on the FSU campus. Two exercises will be held during the day. The College of Liberal Arts and Sciences will present degrees beginning at 10 a.m. and the College of Business and the College of Education ceremonies will start at 2 p.m. FSU President Catherine R. Gira will confer graduate and undergraduate degrees at both events.

The featured speaker this semester will be FSU alum The Honorable W. Dennis Thomas (Class of 1965), former Assistant to U.S. President Ronald Reagan.

Thomas began his political career at Frostburg State as president of his senior class. He went on to serve as chief of staff to U.S. Senator J. Glenn Beall of Maryland and later, United States Senator William Roth of Delaware.

Following his 12 years of service on Capitol Hill, in 1981 Thomas’ nomination by President Reagan to be assistant secretary of the U.S. Department of the Treasury was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He served in this capacity for three years and received the department's two highest awards for his work, prior to being tapped by President Reagan to undertake a new assignment. He was appointed Deputy Assistant to the President with responsibility for coordinating White House legislative activities with the U.S. House of Representatives.

Thomas left the White House in 1985 to join the private sector but after just a three-month absence was called on by President Reagan for a third time. In July of 1985, Thomas was then appointed Assistant to the President and became a member of the White House senior staff. In 1987 he left public service to join the business world. Over the past 16 years he has worked for the International Paper Company, located in Stamford, Conn., and currently serves as senior vice president.

Student speakers at the spring commencement include Angela D. Burns, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences; Aaron Deeb, College of Education and Ian G. Iliff, College of Business.

Burns is a wildlife and fisheries major with a minor in biology. She served as president of the FSU student chapter of the Wildlife Society. Angela has participated in several research projects, including serving as an aquaculture technician and assisting with surveys for river otters in Pennsylvania. She also interned with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Biological Stream Survey project, worked as a water chemistry laboratory assistant at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Studies’ Appalachian Lab and tutored high school students through FSU’s Regional Marth and Science Center. She recently won an essay contest at the Southeastern Regional Wildlife Conclave, as a result her work will be featured in The Wildlife Society’s publication, The Wildlifer. After graduation, Angela, a native of Swanton, Md., will pursue a master’s degree in fisheries science.

According to his faculty nominator, Deeb, an elementary/middle school education major, is "an extremely dedicated and professional student, whose positive attitude and work ethic have been a model for his peers." Aaron has brought his specialty in language arts to the classroom by generating lesson plans and developing related activities for grades three through eight. He also tutored students with special needs. A native of Rockville, Md., Aaron was active in community service initiatives including Read Across America, Bowl for Kids and Kids Night Out through the FSU Athletics Department. In addition, Aaron has also represented the University as an athlete, serving as member, team leader and captain of the Bobcat varsity football team.

Iliff will graduate with a degree in business administration with a concentration in finance and a minor in economics. A member of FSU's Finance Club, Ian held an internship with German Life magazine, a local travel publication, as an advertising representative. He also serves as a volunteer coach for area high school and Pee Wee football teams and was recently inducted into Sigma Beta Delta, the Business Honor Society. Upon graduation, Ian, a resident of LaVale, will enter the Navy Officers Candidate School in Pensacola, Fla. He hopes to obtain his Master of Business Administration degree in the future and perhaps, one day, become a hospital administrator.

Presenting candidates for degrees will be Dr. Stephen Simpson, Provost; Dr. Susan Arisman, Dean of the College of Education; Dr. Connie Groer, Acting Dean of the College of Business; and Dr. Fred Yaffe, Dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences.

For more information about the FSU commencement, you can log on to the FSU Web site at

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 at 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