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WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. - Lycoming College will hold its Class of 2012 graduation exercises May 5-6. Approximately 290 students will receive their degrees during the 164th commencement ceremony scheduled for Sunday, May 6, at 1 p.m. on the College's Quad. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Recreation Center. Baccalaureate service will be held Saturday, May 5, at 4 p.m. in the Recreation Center.
Lycoming will confer four honorary degrees during commencement. Dr. David Warren, president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU), will deliver the commencement keynote address and receive a Doctor of Divinity; Gene L. Dodaro, a 1973 Lycoming alumnus and the comptroller general of the United States, will receive a Doctor of Laws; Bishop Neil Irons, Lycoming emeritus trustee and executive secretary of the United Methodist Church's Council of Bishops, will receive a Doctor of Humane Letters; and Dr. Marshall D. Welch Jr., a longtime benefactor of the College, will receive a Doctor of Science.
The senior greeting at commencement will be given by Megan Bullick of Phoenixville, Pa. She is a double major in creative writing and French and is a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Sigma Iota. Bullick has been active on campus as a resident assistant, a student orientation staff leader, editor-in-chief of the student literary magazine Tributary, and in various other clubs and organizations.
The baccalaureate speaker is the Rev. J Marco Hunsberger, who served as Lycoming's campus minister from 1989-2007. Recipient of the College's 2007 Dale V. Bower Service Award, he was instrumental in starting Lycoming's chapter of Habitat for Humanity and the community service/learning class. Hunsberger is a third generation minister and has 41 years of service with the United Methodist Church. He earned a bachelor's degree from Mercer University and a Master of Divinity from the United Theological Seminary. Hunsberger and his wife, Beverly, have four children, nine grandchildren and one great-grandchild.
Warren, president of NAICU since 1993, is widely regarded as one of the most persuasive and influential voices for higher education. He is known as a tireless advocate for America's private colleges and for increased financial aid funding for all college students. Warren was a driving force on behalf of all higher education in shaping the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which was signed into law in 2008. In response to calls to dramatically increase the nation's college graduation rate during the next decade, he has led NAICU in launching "Building Blocks to 2020," a major effort to encourage and report on the role of America's private colleges and universities in achieving greater access to and completion of a college education. Warren spearheaded the Student Aid Alliance, an ongoing campaign of 50 higher education associations to expand student aid.
Prior to NAICU, Warren served as president of Ohio Wesleyan University for nearly a decade and held administrative positions at Antioch University and Yale University. He earned a bachelor's degree in English from Washington State University, master's degrees with honors in both divinity and urban studies from Yale, and a doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Michigan. He also was a Fulbright Scholar in India and a Rockefeller Fellow at Yale.
Dodaro, recipient of Lycoming's 2011 Outstanding Achievement Award, is the eighth comptroller general of the United States and heads the U.S. Government Accountability Office. In 2010, he was confirmed by the U.S. Senate for a 15-year term, upon the recommendation of President Barack Obama. Dodaro joined the GAO in 1973 and in 1993, was named assistant comptroller general for Accounting and Information Management. He was promoted to the chief operating officer of the GAO in October 2000, a post he held until March 2008.
Irons was a member of the Lycoming College Board of Trustees from 1998-2009 and served on the academic policy and nominations committees. He was elected trustee emeritus in 2010. From 1996-2001, he was president of the North American Section of the World Methodist Conference. Irons is a graduate of Davis and Elkins College, the United Theological Seminary and earned master and Ph.D. degrees from Vanderbilt University.
Welch and his wife, Mary, have been generous benefactors of the College and many other non-profits in the Williamsport area. The Mary L. Welch Theatre and the Mary Lindsay Welch Honors Hall on campus are named in honor of Mrs. Welch. The Lindsay Memorial Chapel in Honors Hall was dedicated in memory of her father. Marshall Welch earned a doctorate in dentistry and orthodontia from the University of Pennsylvania.
Founded in 1812 and celebrating its bicentennial during the 2011-12 academic year, Lycoming College is a national liberal arts and sciences school dedicated to the undergraduate education of 1,400 students. It offers 35 academic majors and is recognized as a Tier 1 institution by U.S. News & World Report. Located near the banks of the Susquehanna River in Williamsport, Pa., Lycoming is one of the 50 oldest colleges in the nation.