GRADUATION. Lyndon State College held its 100th commencement ceremony May 13th under a tent on the LSC soccer field. Undergraduate and graduate degrees were presented to 214 candidates. Dr. Muriel Howard, president of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) gave the commencement speech.
The Class of 2012 was represented by speakers Allison Poulin, a Mountain Recreation Management graduate, and Rachel Keller, a Psychology and Human Services graduate. Steve Long extended greetings from the class of 1962—and extended a challenge to members of the new graduating class to have alumni present at the 2062 ceremony. Ralph Vasami received the Distinguished Alumni Award. Vasami is the CEO of Universal Weather and Aviation, Inc. Michelle Wilcox, a graduate in Television Production, won the Alumni Council Award for Outstanding Senior.
Former LSC Presidents Dr. Janet Murphy and Dr. Carol Moore were in attendance. They were invited to the celebration by interim LSC President Steve Gold. Moore spoke briefly to the assembled crowd.
The graduates were led into the tent by bagpipers, faculty, and members of the administration. A packed house witnessed the ceremony within the tent; a smattering of people sat on the bleachers erected outside on the soccer field. A few spectators watched the proceedings via live broadcast in the climate-controlled Alexander Twilight Theatre. The predicted rain luckily never materialized.
In her commencement speech, Howard exhorted the graduates to “play an active role in history.” She added that graduates have a “responsibility to take care of [themselves] and to help others. And that responsibility is the task of [their] life.” Howard “applauded the energy, confidence and seriousness of purpose in the class” and acknowledged that they “are going to be sensational.”
Graduates have already begun to put their degrees to use. They are stepping into jobs in hospitals, accounting firms, and radio stations. One grad will be touring and working in production for a Vermont-based percussion act. One woman is opening a day care business. One grad is beginning an internship as a tree canopy tour guide; another with the Appalachian Mountain Club.
A number of students are continuing their studies and are scheduled to begin grad school in the fall. Karin Sague, English Literature and Cultural Studies, is slated to start at Drexel University in September. Working toward a Master’s in Library Science, she shared, “I’m excited to start this new chapter in my life.”
Dr. Howard was named president of AASCU in April 2009. She is the first African American to lead one of the six presidentially based higher education associations in Washington, D.C. She is also AASCU’s first female president. She holds a master’s degree in education and a Ph.D. in educational organization, administration, and policy from the University of Buffalo and a certificate from the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard University.
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Commencement Ceremony, May 18