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 SRU SELECTS PA. STATE SEN. MARY JO WHITE AS WINTER COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER 

 

SPOTLIGHT

12/4/2002

Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail: karl.schwab@sru.edu

500 UNDERGRADUATE, GRADUATE DIPLOMAS TO BE AWARDED –

SRU SELECTS PA. STATE SEN. MARY JO WHITE AS WINTER COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER

          SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Slippery Rock University has selected one of the region’s most distinguished leaders Pennsylvania State Sen. Mary Jo White as speaker for its Dec. 14 commencement where some 500 graduating seniors will be presented degrees.

          The 1:30 p.m. ceremony will be held in Morrow Field House. Tickets are not required; doors open at 11:30 a.m.

          White, a Fortune 500 executive, an environmental advocate, an energy expert, public servant, economic development leader, and a wife, mother and grandmother, was first elected in 1996. She hails from Franklin, serving the 21st district, which consists of Clarion Forest and Venango counties and portions of Butler, Erie and Warren counties.

          In May, she joined local community leaders in welcoming Gov. Mark Schweiker to Slippery Rock as he presented a $2 million grant to “The Village of Slippery Rock” for downtown revitalization. Sen. White was instrumental in securing critical support for the project, which promises to greatly enhance the environment for SRU students as well as for Slippery Rock residents.

          “The Slippery Rock project was the poster child for how to galvanize community support for an initiative,” she wrote in a recent constituent newsletter. “The strong committed leadership of the University, the business community, local government and some special people made the project a joy to promote.”

           White has been a tireless ambassador for improving local telephone service in the district and for providing greater access to affordable Internet broadband. She spearheaded legislation to prevent price gouging during times of disaster emergencies. She was the prime sponsor of the state’s Growing Greener program for restoring and protecting watersheds. She introduced legislation, signed into law, to require accreditation for laboratories testing to measure compliance with state environmental statutes. Recently, Gov. Schweiker congratulated her leadership in passing the landmark Water Resources Planning Act, the first successful effort on water planning in 20 years. She also has been instrumental in developing medical malpractice lawsuit reform.

          Prior to becoming a full-time public servant, White was vice president for environmental/government affairs at Quaker State Corp., which was founded and headquartered in Oil City, until its relocation to Texas. The effect of that loss on Oil City increased her desire to drive regional economic development. A cum laude political science graduate of Quincy University, White earned her jurist doctorate from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. She was in general practice with Dale and Woodard law firm in Franklin from 1972 to 1976, during which time she also served Venango County as a public defender. She serves on numerous committees in the Pennsylvania House.

COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY: Wilma Cavill, assistant professor of allied health, will serve as commencement grand marshal.

          University President G. Warren Smith will preside and confer the bachelor and master’s degrees, and Dr. Robert M. Smith, provost, and the University’s deans will present the candidates. Phil Wanchick, a 1967 SRU graduate and president of the SRU Alumni Association will induct the graduates as new association members.

Commencement day will open with a 9 a.m. Army ROTC commissioning ceremony for three, second lieutenants  in the Strain Behavioral Science Building Auditorium. The SRU Alumni Association will hold a breakfast reception from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Russell Wright Alumni House.           

A reception for graduates and their guests will be held in Weisenfluh Dining Hall immediately following the ceremony.                                          

 PN, PGN, WPN, PR, PT, S

 

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