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More Than 700 Degrees Conferred

Wilkes GraduationWilkes University President Tim Gilmour conferred 330 bachelor’s, 307 master’s and 71 Doctor of Pharmacy degrees during the University’s 61st Annual Spring Commencement. The ceremony took place at 2 p.m. at the Wachovia Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township.
 
Greetings were offered by distinguished members of the platform party including Dr. Gilmour; Dr. Reynold Verret, Provost; Mr. William Tremayne, Class of 1957 and a member of the Board of Trustees; Dr. Arthur Kibbe, professor of pharmaceutical science and chairman of the faculty affairs council; and, Ms. Kaitlin Taber-Miller, a member of the class of 2008 who received her bachelor of arts degree in theatre arts summa cum laude. Ms. Theresa Monaco, coordinator of campus interfaith, delivered the invocation. The benediction was offered by Father Thomas Scala, Pastor of St. Joseph’s Church in Milton, PA. Father Scala is an uncle to Joseph Scala, a member of today’s graduating class. 
 
In his address to the graduates, Gilmour reflected on the national spotlight that shoneon Wilkes during the a presidential primary season that included campaign events with Senator Barrack Obama, former President Bill Clinton and his daughter Chelsea, as well as a live broadcast from the Wilkes campus on CBS’s The Early Show.
 
Wilkes Graduation“We’ve cherished these opportunities as a community, recognizing that you, our students, have had a unique opportunity to participate first-hand in our Presidential election process,” said Gilmour. It is thus fitting today that we culminate this spring semester by hosting one of our country’s most gifted and dedicated public leaders,” he said.
 
The keynote address was offered by The Honorable Thomas Kean, chairman of the 9/11 Commission and former New Jersey Governor. Prior to commencement, Kean spent time speaking one-on-one with political science students and faculty. The university presented Kean with an honorary Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.
 
Prior to the conferring of degrees, Dr. Verret presented four members of the graduating class with prestigious awards for outstanding academic and leadership achievements.
 
Thomas KeaneThe Mabel Scott Wandell and Sterling Leroy Wandell Award is presented to the man and woman who attain the highest grade point average in the graduating class. This year, the award went to three graduates.
 
Brynn Beaver, of Leetonia, Ohio attained a perfect 4.0 GPA and earned the Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, with a major in Biochemistry. She is the daughter of Keith and Dianna Beaver and is a 2004 graduate of Crestview High School. Last Saturday, Beaver was the recipient of both the Alfred S. Bastress award and the Catherine M. Bone award in Chemistry. She was chosen as the Outstanding Graduate of the College of Science and Engineering. She will be pursuing a Master’s of Public Health degree in the field epidemiology, at Emory University.
 
StageKarl Kemmerer, of Mountaintop, attained a 3.99 GPA and earned the Bachelor of Science degree, summa cum laude, with a major in Accounting and a minor in Economics. He is the son of Karl and Lisa Kemmerer and is a 2004 graduate of Freeland MMI. Last Saturday he was the recipient of the award for Academic Achievement in Accounting and was chosen as the Outstanding Graduate of the Jay Sidhu School of Business and Leadership. Karl has accepted a position with Pricewaterhouse Coopers, as a staff auditor.
 
Angelina Teutonico, of Plains, attained a perfect 4.0 GPA and earned the Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, with a major in English, with a concentration in writing and a minor in Women’s Studies. She is the daughter of Angela and Alfred Teutonico and is a 2004 graduate of Edward R. Murrow High School, in Brooklyn, New York. Last Saturday, Angelina was a co-recipient of the Annette Humanities Award and was named the Outstanding Graduate for the College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. Angelina will be pursuing graduate work.
 
Wilkes GraduationThe Alumni Award for Leadership was presented to Kaitlin Taber-Miller of Blakeslee. The award is given by the Wilkes University Alumni Association to the graduate who has made the strongest contribution to student life and the activities program of the University. Taber-Miller earned the Bachelor of Science degree summa cum laude. After graduation, Taber-Miller will head to Hawaii where she will be part of the Teach for America program, the national corps of outstanding recent college graduates who commit two years to teach in urban and rural public schools. Taber-Miller is the daughter of Mark and Diane Taber-Miller. She graduated through the Pennsylvania Homeschoolers Accreditation Agency (PHAA) in June of 2004. 
 
In a special ceremony following commencement, three Wilkes University graduates – Robert Bireley, Marc Honrath and Michael Lewis – and one Bloomsburg University graduate were commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the United States Air Force.

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