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  • News Release
  • Date: May 6, 2005
    Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 301-251-7970; Steve Simon, 301-251-7952

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    Montgomery College to Celebrate 2005 Commencement on May 20
    Nearly 2,000 Students Eligible for Community College’s Graduation;
    Collegewide Ceremony on Rockville Campus Honors Graduates from All Campuses

    PHOTO EDITORS: For high-resolution images to accompany this news release, click on this link: 

    Montgomery College will celebrate its 58th Annual Commencement on Friday, May 20, at 10 a.m., underneath a tent set up on the Rockville Campus athletic field.  The community college will honor graduates from its three campuses at Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, along with apprenticeship graduates in Workforce Development and Continuing Education programs.  More than 1,900 students have completed associate’s degrees, apprenticeships, or certificate programs during the past year and are eligible for graduation.

    “Graduation is a wonderful time at Montgomery College because it allows students, families and the Montgomery College community to come together and celebrate our students’ success,” said Montgomery College President Charlene R. Nunley.  “We are proud of these students and wish them the very best in all of their future endeavors.”

    During the commencement ceremony, four students will be recognized as the 2005 Board of Trustees Scholars and will address their fellow graduates.  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 cash award to be applied to future tuition or educational purposes of their choice.  This year’s Board of Trustees Scholars are:

    • Christopher D. Schweitzer – Germantown Campus
      A chemical engineering major, Schweitzer has a 4.0 grade point average and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society.  After finishing his studies in the summer of 2004, Schweitzer transferred to Saint Mary’s College of Maryland, where he is pursuing a degree in chemistry and doing research about organic synthesis.  When he is not studying, the Germantown resident likes spending time outdoors rock climbing, mountain biking, and playing Frisbee golf.
    • Sara E. Owens – Rockville Campus
      Owens, a resident of Wheaton, Md., is in the Montgomery Scholars program, a selective honors program for first-time college students coming directly out of high school.  With her 4.0 grade point average, Owens joined the Phi Theta Kappa international honor society for two-year colleges and Iota Iota Iota, a national academic honor society for students in women’s studies.  A volunteer for Habitat for Humanity, she also interns at the Smithsonian Institution’s Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage.  Owens plans to transfer to a four-year college next year. 
    • Julius F. Agwe - Takoma Park Campus        
      Agwe, a pre-pharmacy major with a 3.93 grade point average, works full-time, in addition to attending classes.  Last fall, the Silver Spring resident volunteered as a supplemental instruction assistant in the peer-tutoring program for math students at the Takoma Park Campus.  A native of Cameroon, Agwe came to the United States in 2003 to study pharmacy.  He wants to eventually return to his home country and provide medical care. 
    • Larry K. Francisco – Workforce Development and Continuing Education
      Francisco completed a four-year apprenticeship program as an HVAC technician with a 3.85 grade point average.  He is enrolled in the Air Conditioning Contractors of America program and employed by the Capron Company, Inc. of Rockville, Md.  In his free time, Francisco, a resident of Winchester, Va., enjoys traveling and playing sports.  He is married with a 10-year-old daughter.

    Husband and Wife Media Team of Judy Woodruff and Albert Hunt to serve as Keynote Speakers

    The husband and wife media team of Albert Hunt, the managing editor of the Washington bureau of Bloomberg News, and CNN Anchor Judy Woodruff will deliver the keynote address together at the Montgomery College’s 2005 commencement.

    Prior to joining Bloomberg in January 2005, he spent 35 years at The Wall Street Journal in the Washington bureau.  He began as a congressional and national political reporter, before later becoming bureau chief and executive Washington editor.  He wrote the weekly column, “Politics and People,” for 11 years.

    In addition, Hunt serves as the moderator of CNN’s weekly public affairs program, “The Capital Gang.”  He is the co-author of a series of books on U.S. national elections by the American Enterprise Institute and the co-author of the Brookings Institute’s book, “Elections American Style.”  In Caroline Kennedy’s book, “Profiles in Courage for Our Time,” Hunt wrote an essay about Senators Russ Feingold and John McCain’s campaign finance reform effort.

    An Emmy Award-winning journalist, Woodruff has worked at CNN since 1993.  She anchors a weekday one-hour program on the news network, “Judy Woodruff’s Inside Politics,” and covers a wide range or breaking news and developing stories.  Prior to CNN, Woodruff worked for PBS’s “The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour,” NBC’s “Today,” and NBC News. 

    Woodruff is a founding co-chair of the International Women’s Media Foundation, dedicated to promoting and encouraging women in communication industries worldwide.

    Together, Woodruff and her husband, residents of Washington, D.C. and parents to three children, have been honored by Washingtonian magazine for their work to fight spina bifida.  The couple also received the Allen H. Neuharth Award for Excellence in Journalism by the Freedom Forum.

    Honorary Degrees Will Go to Mary Gregory Jarvis, Judy Woodruff, Albert Hunt, and Posthumously to Anthony Natelli and Arthur Becker

    To pay tribute to College benefactors and community leaders each year, Montgomery College’s Board of Trustees confers honorary degrees on selected individuals.  This year’s recipients are Mary Gregory Jarvis, commencement speakers Woodruff and Hunt, Anthony Natelli and Arthur Becker.  Natelli and Becker are receiving their degrees posthumously. 

    Born in Olinger, Virginia, Jarvis attended Milligan College for two years and received her elementary school teacher certification.  During World War II, she went to work as a chemist for Eastman in Kingsport, Tn.  In 1958, with four sons and one daughter at home, Jarvis returned to school to finish her chemistry degree.  She took classes part-time at Montgomery College and ultimately graduated from American University in 1963.  She worked for Fairfax County Public Health Laboratory, helping pay for her children’s college education.  All her sons attended Montgomery College before transferring to other Maryland colleges.  Her family has since made significant contributions to the Montgomery College Foundation in support of scholarships to students who could not otherwise afford a college education.  This year alone, more than 150 Montgomery College students received scholarship assistance as a result of the Gregory family’s gifts to the College. 

    Natelli passed away in March 2004, leaving behind a loving wife, five children, and 15 grandchildren.  At the time of his death, he was chairman of Natelli Communities, a company formed by the merger of his real estate development company, Potomac Investment Associates, and his son’s company, Natelli Associates.  With Potomac Investment Associates, Natelli envisioned a very different future for a planned sewage treatment facility in Potomac, Md.  He turned the property into Avenel, a community with more than 900 homes and a PGA championship golf course.  Natelli created many planned communities, including Glenbrook in Frederick, Md.; Lakelands in Gaithersburg, Md.; the Villages of Urbana in Frederick, Md.; and Sunset Island in Ocean City, Md.  Prior to his development career, Natelli served as the managing partner of Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co.’s (now KPMG) Washington, D.C. offices, where he worked for two decades.  Since his death, the Natelli family has established a scholarship fund at Montgomery College, in conjunction with The Committee for Montgomery, a political advocacy organization that Natelli helped to co-found.

    The final two honorary degrees to be presented at the 2005 Commencement ceremony will go to Judy Woodruff and Albert Hunt, in appreciation for their commencement address.

    Arthur Becker will receive a 2005 honorary degree posthumously.  It will be presented to the Becker family at the Rockville Campus 40th Anniversary Convocation on August 24.  Becker, who passed away in 2004, was a staunch supporter of Montgomery College and a member of the Montgomery College Foundation Board of Directors.  He created, along with his wife Miriam, the Arthur P. and Miriam G. Becker Endowed Scholarship with $350,000 to help students at Montgomery College.  Montgomery College was also fortunate to have purchased land for the Rockville Campus from Becker, original part owner of the Anderson Farm in early 1960.  As co-founder of Merrimack Development Company, Becker built thousands of homes and apartment units in Rockville, Bethesda, and Merrimack Park.  He was the past president of Rakusin and Becker, Inc., a management company in Bethesda, now owned by his son, Kenneth Becker and Anthony Rakusin.

    Montgomery College’s Commencement to be Webcast and Shown on Cable

    Montgomery College will broadcast its 2005 Commencement live on the Internet on Friday, May 20.  Families and friends of the graduates can 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 2005 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 301-251-7489.  To request accommodations or assistance needed to participate fully in the event, contact the Office of Disability Support Services at 301-279-5058; 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/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md.  The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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