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May 19, 2006

UMBC Set to Graduate 1,200 Students

46th Commencement Ceremonies Award Degrees to 1,000 Undergraduates, 200 Graduate Students on May 24, 25

MIT Physicist/Author,
Hopkins Neuroscience Pioneer are Speakers

CONTACTS: Mike Lurie
410-455-6380 office
443-695-0262 cellphone

Chip Rose
410-455-5793 office
443-690-0307 cellphone

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) will award degrees to over 1,000 undergraduates and 200 graduate students from the Class of 2006 during the University’s 46th commencement ceremonies to be held Wednesday, May 24 and Thursday, May 25.

The UMBC Class of 2006 includes students accepted by prestigious graduate programs at some of the world’s top universities, including Yale, Harvard, Stanford, King’s College London, the University of St. Andrews in Scotland, Johns Hopkins, the University of Chicago, Tufts University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and the University of Michigan.

UMBC graduates have also secured jobs with a wide spectrum of corporations, nonprofits and government agencies, including Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, Booz Allen Hamilton, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Science Applications International Corporation, T. Rowe Price, Mercantile Bank, Xerox and the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Graduate student commencement will be held Wednesday, May 24 at 10 a.m. on the UMBC campus at the Retriever Activities Center. Dr. Alan Lightman, a physicist and author and adjunct professor of humanities at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree for his significant contributions to the literary, scientific and education communities. Lightman’s 1993 novel, "Einstein's Dreams," was an international bestseller and has been translated into 30 languages.

The undergraduate ceremony will be held on Thursday, May 25, at 1 p.m., at the 1st Mariner Arena in downtown Baltimore. Dr. Solomon Snyder, distinguished service professor of neuroscience, pharmacology and psychiatry at The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, will deliver the commencement address and receive an Honorary Doctor of Science degree for his research accomplishments in neuroscience.

Snyder’s discoveries and techniques for identifying receptors for neurotransmitters and drugs have resulted in major advances in molecular neuroscience and drug design. He shared the prestigious Albert Lasker Award in 1978 for the discovery of the brain’s opiate receptors and, in 2003, received the National Medal of Science, the United States’ top scientific recognition.

Dr. Richard Brodhead, president of Duke University, will receive an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree at the undergraduate ceremony for his achievements as a scholar, teacher and advocate for the advancement of higher education.

Brodhead, an expert in 19th-century American literature who has written or edited more than a dozen books, arrived at Duke after a 32-year career at Yale University. He has been involved with national higher education issues as a member of the Business-Higher Education Forum, a trustee of the Carnegie Corporation and a Presidential appointee to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. His scholarly work has been honored by his election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Amber McGuigan, UMBC’s 2006 valedictorian, will also speak at Thursday’s ceremony. McGuigan, a Sondheim Public Affairs Scholar who maintained a 4.0 G.P.A. as a double major in social work and economics, recently completed a year-long internship in the children's program at the House of Ruth Maryland. McGuigan is a native of Blackwood, N.J. and graduated from Highland Regional High School.

The Co-Salutatorians are Joe Howley, an ancient studies major from Silver Spring, M.D., and Roxann Brooks, a biological sciences major from Chesapeake, V.A. Howley, a Rhodes Scholar nominee and graduate of Montgomery Blair High School, will pursue graduate studies in classics at the University of St. Andrews. Brooks, a graduate of Norfolk Academy and a Meyerhoff Scholar, will pursue a doctorate of veterinary medicine and a Ph.D. in the veterinary scientist training program at the University of California, Davis.

For more information on UMBC Commencement Ceremonies, please visit:

Posted by crose at May 19, 2006 10:31 AM