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News Release

Date: May 5, 2008
Media Contact: Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970; Steve Simon, 240-567-7952

Montgomery College to Celebrate Student Graduation on May 16
Former U.S. Congresswoman Connie Morella to Deliver Commencement Address

EDITORS: For high resolution images to accompany this press release, please visit this link: http://www.montgomerycollege.edu/news/highresolutionimages/commencement2008/.

Montgomery College will celebrate its 61st annual commencement festivities on Friday, May 16 at 10 a.m. The ceremony will be held underneath an outdoor tent on the Rockville Campus athletic field, and will honor graduates from the College’s three campuses in Montgomery County, Md.—at Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring—along with apprenticeship graduates in Workforce Development and Continuing Education programs. More than 2,200 students have completed the requirements for associate’s degrees, apprenticeships or certificate programs during the past year and are eligible for graduation.

“Commencement day at Montgomery College is an extraordinary day of celebration,” said Dr. Brian K. Johnson, president of Montgomery College. “We have students of all ages, all races and ethnic backgrounds, and literally, from all walks of life and areas of study. Some will now transfer to four-year universities, some will go directly into the workforce, and some may have earned their diplomas simply for their own personal fulfillment. All of them share in common the fact that they have achieved a pivotal educational goal.”

Ambassador Constance A. Morella will deliver the commencement address. Morella most recently served as ambassador to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) from 2003 until 2007. Prior to that position, Morella represented Maryland’s 8th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 16 years. She also previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates and is the only woman member of the Maryland General Assembly to be elected to the U.S. Congress. A former Montgomery College professor, Morella taught English at the College’s Rockville Campus from 1970 until 1985.

For her many efforts, Morella has received numerous awards and recognitions including induction into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame, outstanding public service awards from the American Medical Association and the American Bar Association, plus the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. The Republic of Italy awarded her the Medal of the Legion of Merit.

Four Montgomery College Students Selected to Address Fellow Students

During the commencement ceremony, four students will be recognized as the 2008 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 the education of their choice. This year’s Board of Trustees Scholars are:

  • Swee Lin Teo – Germantown Campus

An accounting major and a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Swee Lin Teo is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. Born in Malaysia, Teo now works for Precision Bearing of America, an automotive parts remanufacturing company. She and her husband are the proud parents of two boys and one girl. She is very active in the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) at her children’s schools, serving as vice president and membership chairperson at Roberto Clemente Middle School. Teo hopes to join her 18-year-old son, who is graduating from Blair High School in June, at the University of Maryland, College Park in the fall. She plans to pursue a degree in accounting and become a certified public accountant.

  • Steven W. Church – Rockville Campus

A business major, a Macklin Business Institute (MBI) Scholar and a member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society, Steven Church is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. Along with other MBI Scholars, Church recently competed in the Loyola Marymount University National Business Ethics Competition, where the MBI team was named a national winner in the undergraduate category. He held leadership roles in two other business student competitions—the Macklin Apprentice Competition (as financial coordinator) and the Students in Free Enterprise Ethics Competition (as group leader). Church also works as an auto damage adjuster for GEICO, where he recently received an Excellence in Leadership Award.

  • Jennifer L. Frank – Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus

A member of Phi Theta Kappa honor society and the 2008 All-Maryland Academic Team, Jennifer Frank is graduating with a 4.0 grade point average. She received the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campus English Department Award in 2004 and received the Gloria Montero Humanities Award this year. In addition to school work, Frank recently started her own business called World Sister Crafts, which sells handmade jewelry as well as crafts from around the world. Frank plans to transfer to American University to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Her ultimate goal is to obtain a master’s degree in teaching at Yale University, after which she hopes to be able to become a faculty member at Montgomery College.

  • Joshua P. Lindauere – Workforce Development and Continuing Education

Joshua Lindauere, of Gaithersburg, is completing a four-year apprenticeship program as an HVAC technician with a 3.86 grade point average in his apprenticeship. He is enrolled in the Air Conditioning Contractors of America, National Capital Chapter (ACCA/NCC) program. Lindauere is employed by Harvey W. Hottel, Inc., a mechanical, plumbing, and building engineering services contractor serving the Mid-Atlantic region. He serves as the manager of the sheet metal shop. Previously, he worked at American Metalfab, a subsidiary of Harvey Hottel, Inc. He and his fiancé April will be married in May.

Honorary Degrees Will Go to J.W. Marriott Jr., Richard E. Marriott, Teresa Rios Wright

and Connie Morella

To pay tribute to community leaders and College benefactors, Montgomery College’s Board of Trustees confers honorary degrees on selected individuals to be awarded at commencement. This year’s recipients are J.W. Marriott Jr., chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International, Inc.; Richard E. Marriott, chairman of Host Hotels and Resorts; Teresa Rios Wright, Montgomery County Public Schools teacher and Hispanic community leader; and Constance Morella, the commencement speaker.

The younger of the two sons of company founders J. Willard (J.W.) and Alice S. Marriott, J.W. Marriott Jr., is chairman and chief executive officer of Marriott International, Inc., one of the world's largest lodging companies. His leadership spans more than 50 years, and he has taken Marriott from a family restaurant business to a global lodging company with more than 3,000 properties in 67 countries and territories.

Mr. Marriott serves as a director of the United States Naval Academy Foundation. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the National Geographic Society, The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation and the National Business Council. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the World Travel and Tourism Council. He is chairman of the President’s Export Council, a presidential advisory committee on export trade. Mr. Marriott is a member of the Secure Borders Open Doors Advisory Committee (SBODAC), and a former member of the U.S. Travel and Tourism Advisory Board (TTAB). In addition, he serves as chairman of the Leadership Council of the Laura Bush Foundation for America’s Libraries.

Richard E. Marriott is chairman of the Board of Directors of Host Hotels and Resorts, which is among the largest owners of lodging properties in the world. Mr. Marriott also serves as chairman of First Media Corporation, an independent broadcasting firm privately owned by the Marriott family.

Mr. Marriott is chairman of the Boards of Trustees of both the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation and the Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities. A former president of the National Restaurant Association, Mr. Marriott serves on the Federal City Council, the National Advisory Council of Brigham Young University and the Board of Directors of the Polynesian Cultural Center. He is also a trustee of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America and an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the Washington, D.C. area.

Teresa Rios Wright has enjoyed an accomplished career as a Spanish educator and resource teacher with the Montgomery County Public Schools. She is currently serving as the parent resource teacher in the Division of ESOL and Bilingual Programs in the Gaithersburg and Watkins Mill high school clusters. In this position, she assists immigrant families in achieving educational success for their children.

Ms. Wright has received numerous awards for her selfless efforts on behalf of Hispanic children. She received the Montgomery County Government Hispanic Employees Association Award, Lifetime Membership Award from the Maryland National Parent Teacher Association, Excellence in Minority Achievement Award from the Maryland State Department of Education and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Washington Latino Mental Health Network. She was also lauded by the Montgomery County Collaboration for Children, Youth, and Families for “time well spent for Montgomery’s children.” She is also on the board of advisors for the Universities at Shady Grove, on the board of Identity, Inc., and a graduate of Leadership Montgomery.

The final honorary degree will go to the Honorable Constance Morella, in appreciation for her commencement address and for her many years of public service.

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

Montgomery College will broadcast its 2008 Commencement live on the Internet on Friday, May 16. Families and friends of the graduates can log on to the Montgomery College website to watch the day’s festivities unfold. Cable television viewers in Montgomery County can also watch the ceremony on Montgomery College Television, cable channel 10.

For more information about the 2008 Commencement, visit: www.montgomerycollege.edu/commencement.

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park/Silver Spring, plus workforce development/continuing education centers and off-site programs throughout Montgomery County, Md. The College serves nearly 60,000 students a year, through both credit and noncredit programs, in more than 100 areas of study.

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