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More than 754 undergraduate students are eligible to take part in West Chester’s winter commencement exercises on Sunday, Dec. 19.
To accommodate graduates and their families, winter commencement is split into two undergraduate ceremonies in Hollinger Field House on North Campus. At 10 a.m., Donald E. Leisey ’59 will address graduates from the Colleges of Business and Public Affairs; Education; and Visual and Performing Arts. At 1:30 p.m., Kevin Guskiewicz ’89 will address graduates of the Colleges of Arts and Sciences; and Health Sciences.
Master’s candidates will receive their degrees at a separate ceremony on Monday, Dec. 20, at 7 p.m. in Hollinger; 372 students are eligible. Their speaker is May Van ’89, who earned her M.B.A. from West Chester. She is Group Finance Operations Comptroller, Life Sciences and Chemical Analysis for Agilent Technologies, Inc.
Morning speaker Donald E. Leisey will be presented with the President's Medallion for Service for his outstanding leadership and exceptional service.
A visionary in entrepreneurial education, Leisey founded and served as president and chair for The Report Card, an educational resource store for teachers, parents and students. He is also co-founder and co-director of the International Academy of Educational Entrepreneurship, which guides and supports educators whose programs, products, services or technologies are designed to enhance and improve education.
He earned his master’s of school administration from Villanova University and his doctorate in education from the University of Southern California.
Leisey was an early supporter of WCU’s Institute for Educational Excellence and Entrepreneurship (3E) and is a founding member of the 3E Advisory Council. 3E honored him with their Institute Founder’s Award and the President’s Award, which recognized his establishment of the Academic Excellence in Education Endowment for education students.
He is the co-author of The Educational Entrepreneur: Making a Difference and serves on the boards of directors for numerous corporations and institutions, including the West Chester University Foundation.
A second President’s Medallion for Service will be presented to Maury Hoberman, who, for more than three decades, has served the University as a volunteer, adviser, philanthropist and advocate, including service as a trustee of the West Chester University Foundation.
He has helped develop and secure extensive support for the University’s Holocaust and Genocide Studies program and the Holocaust Education Center, which educates WCU students, teachers and the surrounding community about the Holocaust and the importance of overcoming hate.
In addition, his generous support of other campus projects has resulted in the creation of the Hoberman Friendship Plaza at the Swope Music Building and the Performing Arts Center, which honors his father’s friendship with former WCU President Charles S. Swope.
Among his extensive leadership experiences on behalf of others, he is a director of the Lasko Charitable Fund and Lasko Family Foundation and is a member of the Chester County Hospital Board of Directors.
The afternoon speaker, Kevin Guskiewicz, is the Kenan Distinguished Professor and director of the Matthew Gfeller Sport-Related Traumatic Brain Injury Research Center at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He also serves as chair of the Department of Exercise and Sport Science and holds joint appointments in the Department of Orthopaedics, UNC Injury Prevention Research Center, and the doctoral program in human movement science.
A UNC faculty member since 1995, Guskiewicz also served as an athletic trainer for UNC sports teams from 1995 to 1998. His research has focused on sport-related concussion, investigating its effect on balance and neuropsychological function in high school and collegiate athletes, as well as the long-term neurological issues related to playing sports.
Guskiewicz has received 20 research grants and has published more than 75 journal articles and six textbook chapters related to concussion in sport. He is a fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Academy of Kinesiology and Physical Education, and the National Athletic Trainers’ Association and was named to NCAA’s Concussion Committee, the NFLPA’s Mackey-White Committee, and the NFL’s Head, Neck and Spine Committee.
He earned his master’s of exercise physiology/athletic training from the University of Pittsburgh, and a doctorate in sports medicine from the University of Virginia.
In addition to the alumni honorees, three faculty members will be recognized for their significant contributions to the University. Robert C. Maggio, professor and chair of the Department of Music Theory/Composition, will be presented with the Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. Virginia da Costa, associate professor of art, will be presented with the Faculty Merit Award for Scholarship. Mark Rimple, associate professor of music theory/composition, will be presented with the University Council of Trustees Achievement Award.
Seven faculty members will earn emeriti designation: Celia Esplugas, Claude Foster, Emlyn Jones, Frank Milliman, John Tachovsky, Richard Veleta, and Jacques Voois.
All commencement ceremonies take place in Hollinger Field House on North Campus at the intersection of University Avenue and South Church Street. The streets in that area will be congested as families of graduates arrive and depart.