Thursday, February 24, 2011

Career Diplomat Eagleburger, Educator Invernizzi to Receive Honorary Degrees at Washington College Convocation

CHESTERTOWN—Washington College will award honorary degrees to former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger and noted educator Marcia Invernizzi at the annual George Washington’s Birthday Convocation, Friday, February 25. The College also will recognize alumni, staff, and prominent community members for their contributions. President and Mrs. Mitchell Reiss, the Board of Visitors and Governors, and the Alumni Board of Washington College serve as hosts of the annual event, which begins at 3:30 p.m. in Decker Theatre, the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts. A reception will follow the ceremony.

An American statesman who climbed the Foreign Service ladder to the highest rank ever achieved by a career diplomat, former Secretary of State Lawrence Eagleburger remains one of our country’s leading experts in foreign policy and global diplomatic affairs. Tapped to be the personal aide to Henry Kissinger early in his career, Mr. Eagleburger went on to serve under four U.S. Presidents. After joining the first Bush administration, he was one of the envoys sent to China after the Tiananmen Square massacre to help restore relations with the rulers in Beijing.

Eagleburger is known throughout the world for his role during the Gulf War, when he kept the U.S.-led coalition together by persuading the Israeli government to show restraint against Saddam Hussein’s scud missiles. He remains a key adviser on the Middle East and an outspoken figure on the public stage, raising the alarm of nuclear weapon development in North Korea and Iran, as well as concerns over waning U.S. relations with Israel. In his recent assignment as Chairman of the International Commission on Holocaust Era Insurance Claims, he oversaw the distribution of more than $300 million in awards to more than 48,000 Holocaust survivors and their heirs. Eagleburger will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws from the College.

Dr. Marcia Invernizzi, a 1972 graduate of Washington College, has devoted her career to understanding how children acquire language and then providing early childhood educators with effective instructional techniques. She is the primary author of four literacy assessments used nationwide and co-author of 10 books, including Words Their Way, a comprehensive look at phonics, spelling and vocabulary development and instruction.

Invernizzi is the Henderson Professor of Reading Education and Director of the McGuffey Reading Center at the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education. She wrote Virginia’s statewide literacy assessment program and is principal investigator of a $1.6 million grant from the Institute of Educational Sciences to develop a comparable literacy assessment for Spanish-speaking children in the primary grades. As a founder of Book Buddies, a nationally recognized reading tutorial for struggling readers, she continues her campaign to build a nation of readers. Washington College will award her the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

The Alumni Service Award will go to George Buckless, ’69, retired Regional CEO of Lincoln Financial Advisors and a member of the College Board of Visitors and Governors from 1996-2004. One Alumni Service Award is given annually to an alumnus who has given outstanding and continued support to the College. Chosen by the Alumni Board’s Awards Committee, Buckless has dedicated much of his time and talent to the Alumni Council, Hall of Fame Committee, and Stadium Committee. He most recently helped to spearhead the Athey Baseball Park construction as committee chair.

Matthew Mullin, ’97, Chair of Washington College’s Center for Environment, will receive the Alumni Horizon Ribbon Award at the ceremony. This award is given to a graduate from the past 15 years who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, service, or scholarship in a particular area. Mullin has made great strides in the field of environmental consulting from his time as the College’s first environmental studies major. He went on to work for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Chesapeake Bay Commission, and in May 2010 joined the Environmental Defense Fund as the Chesapeake Bay Director in the Oceans Program. He also co-chairs the Washington College Annapolis Alumni Chapter.

The President and Chairman of the Community Food Pantry, James Fouss, is this year’s recipient of the President’s Medal, which recognizes an individual or group’s significant contributions to the advancement of the community. Fouss played an integral part in Chestertown’s 300th Anniversary celebration as a committee co-chair and has received a Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Award for Kent County for his dedication to the Chestertown community.

Additional honorees at the George Washington’s Birthday Convocation will receive the President’s Distinguished Service Award for their work on behalf of the College. Associate Professor of Mathematics Louise Amick, faculty secretary Catherine Naundorf, John Toll Professor of Psychology George Spilich, Director of Waterfront Activities John Wagner, and Advancement Office secretary Patsy Will are the 2011 honorees.

In addition, the ceremony will recognize faculty and staff for long-time service to the College, including 44-year veteran of the Drama Department, professor Tim Maloney, who also serves as Director of the Daniel Z. Gibson Center for the Arts.
And the Washington College chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s oldest and most prestigious academic honor society, will introduce its 2011 inductees.

Photo: Washington College alumnus Marcia Invernizzi will be honored for her work in education.

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