News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: May 7, 2004 (04-49)

PHOTO EDITORS: High-resolution images to accompany this story are available at /news/highresolutionimages/04/commencement2004/

Montgomery College to Celebrate 2004 Commencement on May 21
Graduates Reflect Community College’s Mission of Changing Lives;
Collegewide Ceremony on Rockville Campus Honors Graduates from All Campuses 

Montgomery College – Maryland’s oldest and most culturally diverse community college – will celebrate its 57th Annual Commencement on Friday, May 21, at 10 a.m., underneath a tent set up on the Rockville Campus athletic field and track.  The community college will honor graduates from its three campuses – at Rockville, Germantown, and Takoma Park – along with apprenticeship graduates in Workforce Development and Continuing Education programs. Close to 1,900 students have completed associate’s degrees, apprenticeships, or certificate programs.

“Graduation day is a time of great pride and celebration for each of the students and their families, and for all us in the Montgomery College community,” said Montgomery College President Charlene R. Nunley.  “We are so proud of our students’ accomplishments and we wish them the very best in all of their future endeavors.”

During the commencement ceremony, four students will be recognized as the 2004 Board of Trustees Scholars.  College officials select one scholar from each of the three campuses and an apprenticeship scholar representing the Gudelsky Institute for Technical Education and the College’s Workforce Development and Continuing Education division.  Each scholar receives a $500 cash award to be applied to future tuition or educational purposes of their choice.  This year’s Board of Trustees Scholars are: 

§         David W. Risher – Workforce Development and Continuing Education

Mr. Risher is completing a four-year apprenticeship program as an HVAC technician.  He has maintained a 3.55 grade point average throughout his apprenticeship.  Mr. Risher enrolled in the Air Conditioning Contractors of America program.  He is employed by E.M.S. Technologies of Crofton, Maryland.  An avid reader and traveler, Mr. Risher is engaged to be married and has a daughter.

§         Joey E. Larman – Rockville Campus

Mr. Larman, a business major and member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average.  He has made the Dean’s List every semester while attending Montgomery College.  He plans to continue his education at the University of Maryland at Shady Grove.  As a stay-at-home father, Mr. Larman lives in Gaithersburg, Maryland with his wife and two children.   

§         Pamela Puckett – Germantown Campus

Ms. Puckett, a business administration major, is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average.  She is the recipient of the Montgomery College-Germantown Business Administration Award.  She finished her studies at Montgomery College in fall 2003.  She will begin pursuing an accounting degree at the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, College Park, in fall 2004.  Born and raised in Montgomery County, Ms. Puckett is married with four sons. 

▪    Olateriba O. Oyegoke - Takoma Park Campus         

Ms. Oyegoke, a business major and a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, is graduating with a 3.95 grade point average.  She completed her studies at Montgomery College in the fall of 2003.  She is currently enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park in the business and accounting program.  She looks forward to getting her master’s degree in business and hopes to establish her own business practice in the future.   Ms. Oyegoke immigrated with her family to the United States from Nigeria. 

 Montgomery College Welcomes Howard University President
as Keynote Speaker 

              Howard University President and Chief Executive Officer H. Patrick Swygert will deliver the keynote address at Montgomery College’s 2004 commencement.  Mr. Swygert has held several administrative positions in higher education including president of the State University of New York at Albany and dean, special counsel to the president, vice president, and executive vice president of Temple University in Philadelphia.  He has also served as a visiting professor at Tel Aviv University, the University of Ghana, and in Cairo, Egypt; Athens, Greece; and Rome, Italy.   

Mr. Swygert has also held several government positions and was an associate with the New York City law firm of Debevoise, Plimpton, Lyons & Gates.             

            Mr. Swygert is a member of the board of directors of Fannie Mae, The Victory Funds, Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc., and the Hartford Life Insurance Company.  He serves as chairman of the Community Business Partnership of the Greater Washington Board of Trade.  He is a member of the Bar Association in the District of Columbia, Pennsylvania, and New York.

            Mr. Swygert earned both his undergraduate degree and law degree, cum laude, from Howard University. 

Honorary Degrees Will Go to Richard Will, Cliff and Camille Kendall,
 Chuck Lyons, and H. Patrick Swygert

To pay tribute to several College benefactors and community leaders, Montgomery College will present them with honorary degrees during the 57th Annual Commencement ceremony on May 21.  This year’s recipients are Clifford M. and Camille E. Kendall, Charles A. Lyons, Richard S. Will, and H. Patrick Swygert. 

Clifford M. Kendall is the former chairman and chief executive officer of Computer Data Systems, Inc.  Currently, he serves as a board and executive committee member of the High Technology Council of Maryland, member of the Advisory Board of the Greater Washington Board of Trade, director of the Montgomery County Community Foundation and the Lighthouse, which manages investments of the Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind.  Mr. Kendall supports higher education as a member of the George Washington University Board of Trustees and the Board of Regents for the University System of Maryland. 

Mrs. Kendall, a graduate of Wilson Teachers College, is an active member of the Philanthropists’ Educational Organization (PEO) and a treasurer of the Kiwanis Club.  Currently, she serves as a board member of the Montgomery College Foundation.  Mr. and Mrs. Kendall have generously supported Montgomery College’s general and endowed scholarship programs privately and through the Clifford and Camille Kendall Family Fund governed by the Montgomery County Community Foundation.

Charles A. Lyons is president of Post-Newsweek, Inc., which publishes 38 Gazette community newspapers, 12 military publications, three technology magazines, and six Internet sites in Maryland and the Washington, D.C. region.  He has been a longtime advocate and friend of Montgomery College.  He is currently a member of the Montgomery College Foundation Board of Directors.  He served as co-chair of the College’s New Century Campaign for the Humanities and also co-chaired a task force for the Council for the 21st Century, which developed a vision and strategic plan for the College.   

Mr. Richard S. “Dick” Will is a senior vice president of investments at the Gaithersburg, Maryland office of Legg Mason, Inc., a global financial services company.  He joined Legg Mason in 1978, after serving as a financial advisor at Investors Diversified Services.  He has been advising families on their finances since 1958.  Prior to his career in finance, Mr. Will taught high school English and history for seven years.  For the past 30 years, he has endowed scholarships for Montgomery College students.  He has also helped influence the history and the direction of the College as a member of the Montgomery College Foundation Board of Directors.  In addition, Mr. Will has contributed his time and money to many organizations, including the Patrick Henry Foundation, the United Negro College Fund, the Will Group Foundation, the YMCA, Meals on Wheels, the Salvation Army, the Wells-Robertson Halfway House, and the American Chestnut Foundation. 

The fifth honorary degree will be presented to H. Patrick Swygert, in appreciation for his commencement address.

Montgomery’s Commencement to be Webcast and Shown on Cable 

Montgomery College will broadcast its 2004 Commencement live on the Internet on Friday, May 21.  Families and friends of the graduates can simply log on to the Montgomery College Web site to watch the day’s festivities unfold.  Cable television viewers in Montgomery County can also watch the ceremony, beginning with a pre-commencement show that will start at 9:30 a.m., on Montgomery College Television, cable channel 10.

For more information about the 2004 Commencement or to find out how to view its Webcast, log on to the Montgomery College Web site at and look under “Hot Topics,” or call the Montgomery College Special Events Office at 240-567-7489.  To request accommodations or assistance needed to participate fully in the event, contact the Office of Disability Support Services at 240-567-5058; TTY: 301-294-9672.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, plus workforce development and continuing education centers in Gaithersburg, Wheaton and  Silver Spring. The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and non-credit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.