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Over 246 to Graduate at UMES Winter Commencement

  • Sunday, December 6, 2009

    Norton, CongresswomanPRINCESS ANNE, MD-Winter celebrations abound this time of year.  The University of Maryland Eastern Shore has cause to celebrate as approximately 246 graduates turn their tassels signifying the conferring of their degrees at the 13th annual Winter Commencement on Friday, December 18, at 10 a.m. in the Williams P. Hytche Athletic Center. 

    Following opening activities and selections by the university's Concert Choir and Wind Ensemble, the commencement address will be delivered by the Honorable Eleanor Holmes Norton, a democratic U.S. congresswoman for the District of Columbia, now in her 10th term.  Attributed to her success in writing bills and having them enacted, she is known as one of the most effective members of the House in producing legislation, despite not being able to vote on final passage of legislation in the House because she represents a non-state. 

    She is currently chair of the House Subcommittee on Economic Development, Emergency Management and Public Buildings.  Norton serves on three rather than the customary two House committees, where she has full voting rights.  In 2007, she successfully completed a four-year campaign for the House vote when the House passed H.R. 1905.  At present, she is working to move the D.C. House Voting Rights Act of 2009 forward without a gun provision.

    Norton has been a champion for her district, striving for and achieving statehood and full congressional voting representation.  She was successful in having bills passed, which provided $10,000 to all district high school graduates to attend any public college in the nation or $2,500 to attend any private college because the district does not have a higher education system of state colleges.  She is also credited with a $5,000 homebuyer tax credit to district residents and tax breaks to district businesses.         

    A national leader in civil and feminist rights prior to her election, Norton was the first woman to chair the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  She served on boards at three Fortune 500 companies as well as the boards of civil rights and other organizations.  In surveys, she was named one of the 100 most important American women and the most powerful women in Washington.

    Norton is a full-time tenured professor of law at Georgetown University.  She received her bachelor's degree from Antioch College in Ohio and earned a law and master s degree in American studies from Yale.  Yale Law School awarded her the Citation of Merit as Outstanding Alumna and the Yale Graduate School awarded her the Yale Wilbur Cross Medal.

    During the commencement ceremonies, honorary degrees will be presented to Alan Newberry, president and chief executive officer of Peninsula Regional Health System and CEO of Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury, Md., and Rilous Carter, vice president of Disney's Hollywood Studios in Florida.  Newberry will receive the Doctor of Science, while Carter will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters.

    Newberry, AlanNewberry joined Peninsula Regional, Delmarva s largest hospital, in 1992 as executive vice president and chief operating officer.  It is now the cornerstone of a fully integrated health delivery system with over 3,000 employees and affiliates.  He was promoted in 1997 to president and CEO, a position he held until last year when Peggy Naleppa transitioned to president of the medical center in preparation for Newberry s retirement on January 1, 2010.  He continues to serve as chief executive officer of Peninsula Regional.  He serves on various health care boards and committees and is a leader in the community, having served on the Salisbury Urban Ministries, The Greater Salisbury Committee, the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce and the Wicomico Visioning Committee.  At UMES, he is the vice chairman of the Business School Advisory Council.


    Carter, Rilous 1Carter is a 35-year veteran of the hospitality industry.  He began his career at Walt Disney World in 1997 as a member of the resorts food and beverage team and steadily rose to positions of increasing managerial responsibility.  Among them were:  general manager of food and beverage at Epcot, director of catering and convention services for Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, and general manager of Disney's Coronado Springs Resort.  Prior to his career at WDW, Carter held positions at Renaissance Hotels and Resorts and Hyatt Hotels and Resorts across the U.S.




    Guests for the commencement exercises are encouraged to be seated one half-hour prior to the start of the event in order to observe the student and faculty processional.  No tickets are necessary.  For more information, visit  www.umes.edu/commencement.                                                                       


    Gail Stephens, assistant director, UMES Office of Public Relations, 410-651-7580, gcstephens@umes.edu.