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Westminster College Confers Degrees to Over 325 Graduates

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Posted on Saturday, May 18, 2002

More than 325 students earned diplomas during the 149th annual Westminster College commencement ceremonies Saturday.

The ceremony began with baccalaureate service at 10:30 a.m. on the Senior Terrace with the Rev. Steve Allen, Westminster chaplain, presiding.  Music was provided by the Westminster Faculty Brass Quintet, the Senior Choir, and Dr. Nancy Zipay DeSalvo on the organ.

Bagpiper Donald Wallace, a 1974 Westminster College graduate led the grand march.  DeSalvo played "Pomp and Circumstance," while Faculty Marshals Dr. Gary Lilly, Dr. Richard Sprow and Dr. Nancy Macky led the processional.

Welcoming remarks by Leonard M. Carroll, chair of the Board of Trustees, were followed by a greeting by President R. Thomas Williamson, and an invocation by Allen.

After receiving honorary Doctor of Public Service degrees, J. Fred Rentz, retired president of the News Co. and former member of the Westminster College Board of Trustees for 27 years; William E. Strickland Jr., president and CEO of the Manchester Bidwell Corp. and the Manchester Craftsmen's Guild; and S. Donald Wiley retired senior vice president and general counsel of H.J. Heinz Co. and former member and chair of the Westminster College Board of Trustees, offered "words of wisdom" to the graduates.

Faculty greetings were offered by Dr. James A. Perkins, professor of English and Chair of the Department of English and Public Relations.  Student remarks were given by Matthew T. Mough, a senior history major from Mount Pleasant.

Degrees were confirmed by Williamson, Dr. Jesse T. Mann, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the college, and E. June Garner, registrar.

The ceremony ended for the class of 2003 with remarks from Dr. Walter E. Scheid, professor of speech emeritus, whose opening convocation address began their college career four years ago.

"Your class will always be something special to me," Said Scheid. "It was the last class entering before I retired three years ago&and I had the great honor of giving you your first lecture at convocation.  I now have the equally great honor of giving you your last lecture."

I leave you with one piece of advice and one hope," continued Scheid.  "My advice is to choose your role models carefully&my hope is that each of you will make your own mark on the world - and that you will make no livid scars in doing so."

Distinguished Faculty Award
Dr. David Gray, professor of psychology since 1965, earned the Distinguished Faculty Award.  Gray has authored, Bows of the World,  a book about his passions of archery and horses, and has researched and lectured internationally on various subjects of human behavior.   He earned his undergraduate degree from Westminster College, his master's from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and his Ph.D. from the University of Pittsburgh.

The Distinguished Faculty Award is given to the faculty member who has, over a sustained period of time, demonstrated characteristics of the most outstanding faculty - intellectual vitality, effective communication skills, the ability to motivate of inspire, compassion and concern for student success, collegiality, and leadership.

Three Professors Honored with Emeriti Status
 Gray was also awarded emeriti status, along with fellow retiring professors Dr. Clarence Harms, professor of biology since 1969, and Dr. Nancy Macky, associate professor of English since 1993.