Former President Daniel Mark Fogel
April 23, 2010
To: UVM Community
From: Daniel Mark Fogel, President
Re: Commencement 2010
I am very pleased to announce that the University of Vermont has selected an inspiring leader and dynamic communicator to be its Commencement 2010 speaker, Eric K. Shinseki, United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Secretary Shinseki will also receive an honorary doctor of laws degree at the ceremony on Sunday, May 23, 2010.
Senator Bernie Sanders nominated Secretary Shinseki to be our Commencement speaker, and I was thrilled to be able to bring his suggestion to the attention of the Honorary Degree Workgroup. The secretary is a true American hero. His presence on our Commencement platform, and the inspiring speech he is sure to deliver, will provide a true capstone experience for graduates and their families, and I hope it will be very meaningful as well for the people of Vermont at a time when so many of the brave men and women of the Vermont National Guard have served—and continue to serve—our nation in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Secretary Shinseki was nominated by President Barack Obama to serve as the seventh Secretary of Veterans Affairs on January 21, 2009. A retired U.S. Army four-star General, Secretary Shinseki served as Chief of Staff, United States Army, from 1999 to 2003 when he retired from active duty. During his tenure, he initiated the Army Transformation Campaign to address both the emerging strategic challenges of the early 21st century and the need for cultural and technological change in the United States Army.
Secretary Shinseki, who was Vice Chief of Staff from 1998 to 1999, previously served simultaneously as Commanding General, Seventh United States Army; Commander Allied Land Forces, Central Europe; and Commander of the NATO-led Stabilization Force in Bosnia and Herzegovina. He served two tours in Vietnam where he was injured in combat on separate occasions between 1965 and 1970. He was awarded the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and Air Medal among others.
Secretary Shinseki holds a bachelor of science degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and is a graduate of the National War College. He also earned a master of arts degree in English Literature from Duke University.
In addition to Secretary Shinseki, the university will confer honorary degrees upon three individuals who have made vital and important contributions to the state, the university, the nation, and the world over the course of their distinguished careers: Judith Buechner, Professor Susan Brody Hasazi and Raymond C. Pecor, Jr.
Judith Buechner of Rupert, Vermont has long been an advocate for land conservation and environmental protection in her home state. From work on her own small scale farm in Southern Vermont to supporting and working with artisan cheesemakers throughout the state, she has been a quiet leader of Vermont’s environmental movement bringing eco-sustainability to the front of our agenda. At UVM, she is a past parent whose engagement and support have been essential to the development and expansion of the George D. Aiken Center, home of the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and the entire Environmental Program.
Professor Susan Brody Hasazi of Burlington, Vermont is an internationally known scholar in the field of special education and a trailblazing advocate for students with disabilities and their families. A faculty member in UVM’s College of Education and Social Services since 1976, Hasazi’s career in academia has been distinguished by her significant contributions to national initiatives designed to improve educational and post-school outcomes for students with disabilities and to give the families of these students a voice in state and national policy development. In 1995, Hasazi received the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation International Award for her lifelong contributions as a scholar and educator in the field of intellectual disabilities.
Raymond C. Pecor, Jr. of Shelburne, Vermont is a native son of Burlington who, throughout a long and successful business career, has been a central figure in fostering the economic development and nurturing the quality of life in his home state. His enterprises range from ferry boats with the Lake Champlain Transportation Company to minor league baseball with the Vermont Lake Monsters. Among other initiatives, Pecor took an early role in the economic revitalization of Winooski with the renovation of the historic Champlain Mill. Pecor attended the University of Vermont and has served the university as a member of the Alumni Council, the board of advisors for the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and the UVM Board of Trustees.
Specific details about Commencement 2010 are available at the website. The student and faculty line up will begin at 7:30 a.m. and the procession will begin at 8:15 a.m. The ceremony officially begins at 9 a.m. Specific information includes the following:
For additional information and questions, please contact (802) 656-4205 or by email at:
Last modified April 23 2010 03:44 PM