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West Chester University Winter Commencement 2011

December 12, 2011

robert maggio

More than 867 undergraduate students are eligible to take part in West Chester Universityís winter commencement exercises on Sunday, Dec. 18 in Hollinger Field House on North Campus.

There will be two undergraduate ceremonies. The 10 a.m. ceremony is for students graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Health Sciences, while students in the Colleges of Business and Public Affairs; Education; and Visual and Performing Arts will receive their degrees during an afternoon ceremony starting at 1:30 p.m.

Two distinguished individuals will receive the Presidentís Medallion for Service in recognition of their outstanding leadership and exceptional service: Kean Spencer, a longtime friend and supporter of the University and 1959 West Chester University alumnus Donald E. Leisey, who also will be the featured speaker for the undergraduate ceremony in the afternoon.

Student speakers for the undergraduate ceremonies are Caroline McRobbie and Matthew South. McRobbie from Shillington, Pa. is graduating with a degree in history and secondary education, while South, who is from Levittown, Pa., is receiving a degree in music education with a concentration in voice.

On Monday, Dec. 19, at 7 p.m. in Hollinger Field House, 223 graduate students will receive their masterís degree following remarks by 1969 West Chester University alumnus Robert McCreight.

Alan J. Butcher
Alan Butcher currently serves as the vice president of business and corporate development at Endo Pharmaceuticals in Chadds Ford, Pa. During his more than 20 years of experience in the industry, Butcher has completed a number of key commercial transactions, as well as deals involving early- and late-stage clinical assets and preclinical/research and development. He is a published scientific author and has played a role in the development of three currently marketed anti-viral medicines.

Earlier in his career, Butcher held a variety of technical and business development positions with SmithKline Beecham and Bristol-Myers Squibb, where he led research and development programs in infectious diseases and cardiovascular drug discovery.

Prior to joining Endo, Butcher worked for GlaxoSmithKline where he was director of worldwide business developmentĖtransactions. There he served as co-leader for the largest single asset deal transacted in pharmaceutical history.

Butcher holds a bachelor of science in clinical microbiology and master of arts degree in molecular biology/genetics from West Chester University. He earned his M.B.A. from Cornell University 1992.

During his time at WCU, he played lacrosse for four seasons and set several records that still stand today, including recognition as the Golden Ramsí all-time leading scorer. In 2002 he was inducted into West Chester Universityís Athletic Hall of Fame.

Donald E. Leisey
A visionary in entrepreneurial education, Donald Leisey founded and served as president and chairman of the board for The Report Card, an educational resource store for teachers, parents and students.

In addition, he co-founded and co-directs the International Academy of Educational Entrepreneurship, an organization that guides and supports educators whose programs, products, services or technologies are designed to enhance and improve education.

Leisey began his teaching career in Coatesville, Pa., and became a principal in Downingtown after earning his masterís of school administration from Villanova University. He spent several years as a school principal in Japan with the Department of Defense Overseas Dependent Schools. On his return to the United States, he relocated to California, where he became a principal, then superintendent, of schools in San Rafael. He also earned his doctorate in education from the University of Southern California.

He left public education on his retirement in 1979 and in 1981, bought the Merryhill Country School in Sacramento and built it from a private school for 200 students to a system of 22 for-profit schools with 8,000 students.

Leisey was an early supporter of WCUís Institute for Educational Excellence and Entrepreneurship (3E) and is a founding member of the 3E Advisory Council. He is the coauthor of the book The Educational Entrepreneur: Making a Difference, serves as a consultant to public and private schools, and is a board member of numerous corporations and institutions, including the West Chester University Foundation.

Among his many honors, Leisey is a past recipient of the WCU Distinguished Alumni Award, 3E Institute Founderís Award, and the Presidentís Award, which recognized his establishment of the Academic Excellence in Education Endowment, benefiting students in the College of Education.

Kean Spencer
A cofounder and president of Eastern Research Services, Kean Spencer is an expert in market research data collection who, for more than 30 years, has worked with top survey professionals and companies throughout the market, social and political research fields, providing data collection, coding and processing, using state-of-the-art, bilingual technology.

In addition to his professional achievements, Kean Spencer has engaged and advanced programs in the arts and humanities, beginning with his time as a student at the University of Michigan, where he received the prestigious Hopwood Award for Creative Writing.

Spencer is also a founding member and current chair of West Chester University’s Poetry Center advisory board.  He has encouraged and rewarded outstanding poets at all stages of their creative lives through his endowment of the Iris N. Spencer Poetry Awards for West Chester University’s Poetry Center and Conference, including the Iris N. Spencer Undergraduate Poetry Award, the Myong Cha Son Haiku Award, and the Donald Justice Poetry Prize.  His philanthropy also has extended throughout the community and benefited organizations such as the Chester County Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania, the Chester County Historical Society, and the Kennett Symphony.

Graduate Student Ceremony, Monday, Dec. 19, 7 p.m.
Speaking before the 223 graduate students during their commencement ceremony will be West Chester alumnus and WCU Council of Trustees secretary Bernard J. Carrozza.

Kente Commencement Ceremony, Saturday, December 17, 3 p.m.
On Saturday, Dec. 17, at 3 p.m., the 15th Annual Fall Kente Commencement Ceremony will be held in the Sykes Student Union Theater. The ceremony honors multicultural graduates and acknowledges their related accomplishments.

Click here for more information on the ceremonies