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June 3, 2004

UMBC Graduates Over 2,400 Students at May Commencement Ceremonies

UMBC awarded degrees to 2,226 undergraduates and nearly 200 graduate students from the Class of 2004 during the University's 42nd commencement ceremonies on May 19 and May 20.

The UMBC Class of 2004 includes students headed to prestigious graduate programs at universities including Princeton, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, UNC-Chapel Hill, William & Mary, Rice and Columbia. Graduates have secured jobs across a wide spectrum of corporations, nonprofits and government agencies, including IBM, Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton, ABC News, Titan Systems and SAIC.

Anthony Hoffman, who maintained a 4.0 GPA while earning a B.S. in physics with a minor in mathematics, is UMBC's 2004 valedictorian. He will begin Princeton University's Ph.D. program in electrical engineering this fall on a Princeton Graduate School Endowed Fellowship.

Hoffman says he chose to attend UMBC because of opportunities to conduct research in the new Physics building's facilities. Another strong draw was the dedication of UMBC's faculty. "The professors here seemed the most welcoming," Hoffman says. "They aren't just teachers; they reach out to mentor students."

Also graduating was former University System of Maryland student regent Phil Shockley, a double major in political science and information systems. Shockley, who served as UMBC Student Government Association president during the 2002-03 academic year, was just the second student in UMBC history to be named to the Board of Regents, and holds the distinction of being the only student regent to never miss a meeting. While serving on the Board, Shockley became known as a consistent voice for students during state budget cuts to higher education and resulting tuition increases.

The Graduate School Commencement speaker was Dr. William A. Haseltine, chairman and chief executive officer of Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (HGSI). Haseltine, who founded HGSI in 1992, is a former professor at Harvard's schools of medicine and public health. He has received numerous honors and awards for his cancer and AIDS research and work in the field of regenerative medicine and is active on many corporate boards and civic organizations. Haseltine received a doctorate of science at the Graduate School ceremony.

At the Undergraduate Commencement ceremony, Ursula M. Burns, president of Business Group Operations and corporate senior vice president at Xerox Corporation, delivered the keynote address to the Class of 2004. President Freeman A. Hrabowski presented Burns with her first honorary degree, a doctorate of engineering. Burns' career highlights include being named to Fortune magazine's 2002 list of "Most Powerful Black Executives;" Time magazine/CNN's annual list of "Global Business Influentials;" and U.S. Black Engineering & Information Technology magazine's 2004 list of the "50 Most Important African-Americans in Technology."

Posted by dwinds1 at June 3, 2004 12:00 AM