Hood’s undergraduate and graduate Commencement ceremonies took place May 16. The morning’s 118th undergraduate ceremony saw 352 students earn bachelor’s degrees in front of the College’s largest-ever undergraduate Commencement audience. The afternoon’s 42nd graduate ceremony included 239 graduates.
These Commencement exercises were President Ronald J. Volpe’s 14th and final at Hood. He received an honorary degree at the undergraduate ceremony and the status of president emeritus at the graduate ceremony. President Volpe has awarded 6,705 academic degrees at Hood.
Frederick Mayor Randy McClement, the undergraduate ceremony speaker, received an honorary degree. Currently serving his second term as mayor, McClement has been an active member of the Frederick community for more than a decade. He has served on a number of boards and commissions that have given him an impressive breadth and depth of knowledge about the city of Frederick.
Thomas Geisbert, a 1988 Hood graduate whose recent research into the Ebola virus has earned him international notoriety, was the graduate ceremony speaker and also received an honorary degree. Geisbert is a professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the Galveston National Laboratory. He earned his doctorate in molecular pathobiology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., and he was one of the Ebola fighters named collectively as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2014.
Members of the undergraduate Class of 2015 hailed from 16 states, the District of Columbia and six countries. One hundred twenty-nine completed internships. Many will continue their education, while others will begin their careers.
Paula Miller Dennis, a nursing major from Hagerstown, Md., and Alisha Marie Dunkle, an early childhood education major from Watertown, N.Y., were awarded the Hood College Academic Achievement Prize for the highest academic records in the Class of 2015.
Senior Class President Jada Burton asked that the 2015 class “please continue to take care of each other” and recognized that Hood students made lifelong friends and learned important life lessons in addition to their academics.
During the undergraduate ceremony, President Volpe awarded presidential excellence awards to Purnima Bhatt, Gary Gillard and Al Weinberg, who all retired after a combined 91 years of service.
During the graduate ceremony, Tony Miller, a social studies teacher at Linganore High, was presented with the annual Charles E. Tressler Distinguished Teacher Award. Given jointly by Hood and Frederick County Public Schools, the award acknowledged his passion for teaching in the classroom as well as on the field as a lacrosse, softball and field hockey coach. Miller has taught at Linganore High since 1979. He earned a bachelor’s degree in secondary social studies from Shepherd College in 1979 and completed his master’s degree in secondary education curriculum and instruction at Hood in 1987. He has also earned 30 credits beyond his master’s degree at Hood.
For full Commencement coverage, visit Hood’s Commencement webpage. Congratulations to the Class of 2015!
Pictured: Class of 2015 graduates Meg DePanise and Zari DeMesme