Shenandoah University will celebrate its 2015 Commencement at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 9. Saturday’s ceremony celebrates 281 August 2014 graduates, 254 December 2014 graduates and 660 May 2015 candidates for degrees.
Charles Gibson, one of the preeminent broadcast television journalists of his time, will deliver the commencement address and will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Humanities degree. Haiti’s Minister of Public Health and Population Dr. Florence Duperval Guillaume will receive the President’s Medal.
With more than 40 years of experience – 33 of those at ABC News – Gibson reported from across the country and around the world, covering presidential election cycles, filing reports from war-torn countries, interviewing influential world leaders and co-anchoring the “Good Morning America” broadcast on the morning of September 11, 2001.
Gibson retired in 2009 after nearly four years as anchor of ABC’s flagship broadcast “ABC World News” and, at the time of his retirement, he was also the network’s principal anchor for breaking news, election coverage and special events.
Gibson’s family has a long-standing association with the university. The Langdon Gibson II Music Scholarship Fund was established in June 2006 through a donation by Gibson and funds from the estate of Langdon Gibson, his late brother, who had been a supporter of Shenandoah Conservatory, and frequently held concerts that featured conservatory students and faculty in his home in Clarke County, Virginia. Charles Gibson attended many of those performances.
In 1989, Shenandoah University’s Communications Department (now the Mass Communications Department) recognized Gibson with a special award for Distinguished Service in Communications.
Dr. Guillaume is Haiti’s minister of public health and population, and is a pediatric physician and public health practitioner with extensive experience in health management, focusing on performance-based strategy.
She was interim prime minister of Haiti from December 20, 2014, to January 16, 2015. During that time, she provided a smooth transition between her predecessor, Laurent Lamothe, and the current prime minister, Evans Paul.
During her time as minister of public health and population, she has spearheaded vaccination campaigns that resulted in the World Health Organization (WHO), the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirming the elimination of polio, measles and rubella in Haiti in 2013.
She has also been integral in managing the Haiti Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Control Program, which resulted in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) recognition of the progress of the Haitian Government in the fight against NTDs, especially in the elimination of lymphatic filariasis.
Shenandoah University’s May Commencement Ceremony is scheduled for 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 9, 2015, on the intramural field behind the Brandt Student Center, located on the main campus of Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia.