Download our app in the AppStore now!

Download our app in the Play Store now!

View the Mobile Web Version of our app here!

You're seeing this message because you're using an older version of Internet Explorer that is unsupported on our website. Please use these links to upgrade to a modern web browser that fully supports our website and protects your computer from security risks.

Hide this message

FSU Tag Line


Bookmark and Share

FSU’s 135th Commencement Ceremonies RESCHEDULED to Monday, Dec. 21 at 11 a.m.

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 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.

(Original release)

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 p.m.

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 exercises.

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 accounting.

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 County.

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 commencement.

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. -end-

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