Chestertown, MD, January 21, 2003— In an annual tradition to honor the school's founding patron and his deals, Washington College will hold its annual George Washington Birthday Convocation on Saturday, February 22, 2003, beginning at 2 p.m. in the College's Gibson Performing Arts Center, Tawes Theatre. The honored guests will be John H. Marburger III, Director of the President's Office for Science and Technology Policy; Werner Gundersheimer, Ph.D., Director Emeritus of the Folger Shakespeare Library; and Walter Baker, Washington College alumnus and member of the Maryland Senate 1979-2003. Alumnus Bob Cleaver '58, recipient of the 2002 Alumni Service Award, will also be recognized for his contributions to the College. The event and is free and open to the public. A reception will follow in the lobby of the Miller Library.
Dr. John Marburger was appointed by President George Bush to direct the Office of Science and Technology, created in 1976 and designed to provide the president with policy advice related to science and technology, applied research, science education and scientific literacy, and international cooperation. Dr. Marburger holds a Ph.D. in applied physics from Stanford University and was the former Director of the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory. As president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook from 1980 to 1994, he oversaw the opening and growth of its University Hospital and the development of biological sciences as the university's major strength.
Under his leadership in the 1980s, Stony Brook's federally funded scientific research exceeded that of any other public university in the Northeast. Before joining Stony Brook, Dr. Marburger was a professor of physics and electrical engineering at the University of Southern California, where he contributed to the field on nonlinear optics and cofounded the university's Center for Laser Studies. Washington College will honor his contributions to science education by awarding him an Honorary Doctor of Science from the College.
Dr. Werner Gundersheimer, who directed the Capitol Hill-based Folger Library from 1984 to 2002, will be awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters from the College for recognition of his support of the liberal arts and his recent gift to Washington College's Clifton M. Miller Library: his private collection of books on Medieval and Renaissance literature and culture. A noted scholar of early modern French and Italian history, Dr. Gundersheimer is a graduate of Amherst College and earned his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees at Harvard University. Before joining the Folger, he was Chairman of the Department of History and Director of the Center for Italian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.
The Honorable Walter Baker, a 1960 graduate of Washington College, served the citizens of the 36th District of Maryland (comprising Cecil, Kent, Caroline, Queen Anne's and Talbot Counties) in the State Senate from 1979 to 2002. Born in Port Deposit, MD, Baker served in the U. S. Army from 1950 to 1953, and, after receiving his law degree from the University of Maryland School of Law, worked as a practicing lawyer and a State's Attorney. In recognition of dedication to public service and of his long career in Maryland politics, he will be honored with an Honorary Doctor of Public Service from his alma mater.
The convocation will also recognize Bob Cleaver, Class of 1958, the recipient of the Washington College Alumni Association's 2002 Alumni Association Service Award. In 1994, at the conclusion of a 35-year career as an insurance executive, Cleaver and his wife, Ann Hurst, Class of 1957, returned to Kent County and to their alma mater. Instead of seeing retirement as a time to withdraw, Cleaver became more involved with Washington College, and has served three times as interim alumni director, consulted in corporate relations to the College's Development Office, co-chaired his 45th Class Reunion, and served as co-president of the Kent and Queen Anne's Alumni Chapter. Cleaver is also a member of the College's 1782 Society and George Washington Society, but, more so, is an example of a loyal alumnus who thrives on the fellowship of alumni and gives generously his time, energy and talent to the support the College.