Unity College to Hold 44th Commencement

Exercises Take Place On Saturday, May 18, 2013
Unity College 2013 Graduation

Unity College will hold its 44th commencement exercises on Saturday, May 18, 2013 at 1 p.m. in Tozier Gymnasium. There are 124 Bachelor of Science, 2 Bachelor of Arts, and 2 Associate of Science degrees being conferred. 

Commencement speaker Dr. James Gustave Speth, an internationally acclaimed environmental educator, writer, and scholar, will receive an honorary Doctor of Sustainability Science degree. Critically acclaimed actress and educator Kaiulani Lee will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts and Humanities degree. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony.

Awards and honors to be presented are:

  • Loon Society - Members are nominated based on excellent academic performance, contributions to the College and community, and personal growth.
  • Honor Cord - Recipients who have achieved a GPA of 3.33 or higher.
  • Student Life Awards - Recipients who have best exemplified the attributes of Unity College and who have made significant contributions to life outside of the classroom. Among these awards are:
    • Student Life Community Award
    • Student Life Environment Award
    • Student Life Integrity Award
    • Student Life Respect Award
  • Valedictorian Award - Recipients with the highest overall cumulative grade point average (4.0).
  • Senior Athlete of the Year - Recipients are student-athletes whose contributions, skill, and attitude have made a positive impact on Unity College athletics.
  • Outstanding Student in Academic Achievement- Recipient has exemplified academic excellence and confidence within the academic arena in the Center for Experiential and Environmental Education.
  • Faculty Award - Recipient is chosen on the basis of contribution to the day-to-day affairs of the College, as demonstrated by concern and willingness to help where a need is perceived.
  • Residents Advisor Service Award - Recipients are graduates who have served the College as resident advisors and have demonstrated service, a commitment to quality programming, and high level of professionalism.
  • Lifelong Learning Award - Recipient is a graduating senior in the Center for Biodiversity who has demonstrated outstanding curiosity about the natural world by asking questions that go above and beyond the scope of classes.
  • Engaged Professional Award - Recipient has exemplified professional excellence and confidence within his/her field in the Center for Experiential and Environmental Education.   Recipients have demonstrated effective leadership to bring positive change and dedication to the profession.
  • Outstanding Student in Humanities - Recipient is a graduating senior in the Center for Environmental Arts and Humanities and has shown outstanding aptitude in the liberal arts as demonstrated through a body of original creative work and a visionary spirit.
  • Conservation Law Enforcement Bulldog Award - Recipients have overcome challenges and demonstrated tenacity and commitment to overall excellence in the field of conservation law enforcement.
  • President’s Award - Recipients are candidates for a baccalaureate degree, chosen by the president on the basis of academic strength, extracurricular activities, and overall contribution to the growth of Unity College.
  • Parks, Recreation and Ecotourism Leadership Award - Recipients are outstanding graduating seniors in the Parks, Recreation and Ecotourism program who have demonstrated leadership in academics, campus community involvement, and outside professional work.
  • Sustainability Award - Recipients are outstanding graduating seniors from the Center of Sustainability and Global Change with a dedicated sustainability focus.
  • Marshall Gerrie Award - Recipients are candidates for a baccalaureate degree on the basis of the candidate’s day to day contribution to the functioning of the college and morale of the student body, as demonstrated by the candidate’s concern and willingness to help where a need is perceived.
  • Wildlife Leadership Award - Recipients are graduating seniors who have demonstrated consistent high academic achievement, overall leadership in the wildlife programs at Unity College, and demonstrated commitment to the wildlife profession.
  • Student Government Association Award - Recipients have contributed to the enhancement of student life through participation with the Student Government Association. The student will demonstrate exceptional leadership skills, excel in co-curricular activities and provide outstanding community service.
  • Trustees’ Award - Recipients are baccalaureate candidates who, in the judgment of the trustees, have demonstrated the most personal growth and academic accomplishment while contributing to the student body and the Unity College community.

Seniors receiving awards and honors are:

Eli H. Walker
Locust Grove, GA
Wildlife Biology and Captive Wildlife Care and Education
Faculty Award
Residents Advisor Service Award
Valedictorian Award
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
John Crowe
Stoneham, MA
Ecology
Senior Athlete of the Year
 
Andrea Felton Miller
Barre, MA
Environmental Biology
Biodiversity Lifelong Learning Award
Honor Cord
 
Meagan Mallory
Montville, ME
Environmental Education
Outstanding Student in Humanities
 
Patricia Lee Preston
Davie, FL
Captive Wildlife Care and Education
Engaged Professional Award
Honor Cord
 
Kaitlyn Wiktor
Hardwick, MA
Captive Wildlife Care and Education
Outstanding Student in Academic Achievement
Honor Cord
 
Lucas Bellanceau
Porter, ME
Conservation Law Enforcement
Conservation Law Enforcement Bulldog Award
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Jacob R. Hastings
Farmington, ME
Conservation Law Enforcement
Conservation Law Enforcement Distinguished Academic Honors
Honor Cord
 
Joy Alexandra Carroll Kacoroski
Issaquah, WA
Parks, Recreation and Ecotourism
Parks, Recreation and Ecotourism Leadership Award
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Jennifer M. Moran
Clarksville, TN
Wildlife Biology
Wildlife Leadership Award
Residents Advisor Service Award
Student Life Respect Award
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Shayne Van Leer
Berlin, NJ
Agriculture Food & Sustainability
Sustainability Award
Student Life Environment Award
Loon Society
 
Courtney Taylor Tway
Chillicothe, OH
Marine Biology and Teaching& Learning
Marshall Gerrie Award
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Paige M. Blaker
Parkman, ME
Marine Biology and Ecology
President’s Award
Senior Athlete of the Year
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Kimberly Anne Bach
North Versailles, PA
Captive Wildlife Care and Education
Residents Advisor Service Award
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Robert W. Eckelbecker
Fort Worth, TX
Aquaculture & Fisheries
Residents Advisor Service Award
Honor Cord
 
Cassandra Anne Thayer
Plymouth, MA
Captive Wildlife Care and Education
Residents Advisor Service Award
 
Rachelanne Vander Werf
Wheatland, CA
Environmental Policy
Student Government Association Award
Loon Society
 
Jennifer Lynn Wiacek
Gorham, ME
Wildlife Biology
Student Life Community Award
Trustees’ Award
Valedictorian Award
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Travis Wayne Courser
Lyndonville, VT
Teaching & Learning
Student Life Integrity Award
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Terri-Lynn Pinkham Fowler
Thorndike, ME
Environmental Education
Valedictorian Award
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Colby Paterson Smith
West Bath, ME
Adventure Therapy
Valedictorian Award
Honor Cord
 
Deborah E. Anderson
Spruce Pine, NC
Captive Wildlife Care and Education and Wildlife Biology
Honor Cord
 
Christine Barnes
York, ME
Conservation Law Enforcement
Honor Cord
 
Marsha Darlene Barnes
Canonsburg, PA
Wildlife Biology
Student Life Community Award
Honor Cord
 
Brian A. Brodie
Lubec, ME
Conservation Law Enforcement
Honor Cord
 
Elizabeth Caporelli
South Kingston, RI
Environmental Education and Teaching & Learning
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Sabrina L. Carleton
Unity, ME
Adventure Therapy
Honor Cord
 
Nathan W. Dant
Elkton, MD
Wildlife Conservation
Honor Cord
 
Jessica Lynn Jones
Elkton, MD
Wildlife Conservation
Honor Cord
 
Daniel Joeseph Martin
Hummelstown, PA
Aquaculture & Fisheries and Wildlife
Honor Cord
 
Sarah McCoy
North Kingstown, RI
Captive Wildlife Care and Education
Honor Cord
 
Melissa Audrie Merritt
Hampstead, NC
Marine Biology
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Daniel Orlando
Southington, CT
Conservation Law Enforcement
Honor Cord
 
Emily Victoria Parker
Yarmouth, ME
Conservation Law Enforcement
Honor Cord
 
Annastasia Darlene Parks
Baileyville, ME
Captive Wildlife Care and Education
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Joshua Lee Perkins
Andover, ME
Conservation Law Enforcement
Honor Cord
 
Frank Bernhard Reske III
Sagamore Beach, MA
Captive Wildlife Care and Education
Honor Cord
 
Brett William Rouleau
Epsom, NH
Conservation Law Enforcement
Honor Cord
 
Kelsey Nicole Schrey
Plainville, CT
Agriculture Food & Sustainability and Environmental Writing
Honor Cord
 
Michele Wagner
Howard, OH
Wildlife Biology
Honor Cord
 
Alexis Lynn White
Leeds, ME
Wildlife Biology
Honor Cord
 
Eliza Brooke Winter-Potter
Virgil, NY
Adventure Therapy
Honor Cord
 
Michelle Lyn Wood
Putnam, CT
Wildlife Conservation
Honor Cord
Loon Society
 
Nicole Lynn Prescott
Readfield, ME
Conservation Law Enforcement
Loon Society
 
As the first college in the United States to divest from investments in fossil fuels, Unity College has a special responsibility to raise the specter of global climate change, and it will during the 44th commencement exercises.
 
Commencement speaker James Gustave "Gus" Speth has been characterized as one of the most important voices in the environmental movement.  The theme of his presentation is caring: for the planet, communities, and each other.  Climate change will also be prominently featured in his presentation.  A rallying call from his presentation is “the fight is not over, with your help, we will win (the struggle to mitigate climate change).”
 
Professor Speth joined the faculty at Vermont Law School in 2010. A Distinguished Senior Fellow with Demos, a United States-based research and policy center founded in 2000 that maintains a non-partisan role policy change and reform work to revitalize American democracy, he completed a decade-long tenure in 2009 as dean of the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
 
From 1993 to 1999, he was administrator of the United Nations Development Programme and chair of the U.N. Development Group. Prior to his service at the U.N., he was founder and president of the World Resources Institute; professor of law at Georgetown University; chairman of the U.S. Council on Environmental Quality in the Carter administration; and senior attorney and co-founder of the Natural Resources Defense Council.
 
Throughout his career, Professor Speth has provided leadership and entrepreneurial initiatives to many task forces and committees whose roles have been to combat environmental degradation, including the President's Task Force on Global Resources and Environment; the Western Hemisphere Dialogue on Environment and Development; and the National Commission on the Environment. Among his awards are the National Wildlife Federation's Resources Defense Award, the Natural Resources Council of America's Barbara Swain Award of Honor, a 1997 Special Recognition Award from the Society for International Development, Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Environmental Law Institute and the League of Conservation Voters, and the Blue Planet Prize. He is the author, co-author, or editor of six books, including the award-winning The Bridge at the Edge of the World: Capitalism, the Environment, and Crossing from Crisis to Sustainability and Red Sky at Morning: America and the Crisis of the Global Environment.
 
“In my view, all of his books should be accessible to first-year college students,” said Stephen Mulkey, President of Unity College.
 
Mulkey singled out Red Sky at Morning and America the Possible for particular praise.
 
“In essence Professor Speth is a political economist and his focus is on creating a ‘sustaining economy.’  He realizes that there are two fundamental aspects to our sustainability crisis; macroeconomics largely controlled by corporate and political interests, and personal desires driven by inappropriate sense of need.  Although not an evolutionary psychologist, he wades into the latter with mastery in two of his works.”
 
In her review of Professor Speth’s book entitled America the Possible Hazel Henderson, author and founder of Ethical Markets Media, LLC, wrote that he is “one of the most prominent, knowledgeable, global environmentalists of our time. A quintessential insider, Speth began as an anti-nuclear activist in the 1970s and later chaired President Jimmy Carter's Council on Environmental Quality. In the 1980s, he founded and led the influential World Resources Institute in Washington, DC, and in the 1990s became the administrator of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He promoted the understanding that global environmental sustainability rested on alleviating poverty, promoting human rights, economic and social justice, better education and health, stabilizing populations, expanding the rule of law, protecting our global commons and addressing conflicts with more diplomacy and fewer weapons.”
 
Mulkey framed America the Possible as one of the most important books in decades to address transformation in America and, through my inference, U.S. Higher education.
 
“On the whole, I think his work is not only germane, but it should be required reading for all of our students,” Mulkey continued. “We will place a copy of his most recent work on the seat of every student at Commencement.”
 
“We are delighted and humbled that Professor Speth will serve as our Commencement speaker,” Mulkey said.  “For generations he has served as one of the most insightful environmental thinkers in America.  As our graduates venture out into a world in desperate need of wise environmental stewardship to preserve its very existence, it is entirely appropriate for them to evaluate and internalize the wisdom that their commencement speaker offers.  There is no better individual to step forward and offer that wisdom than Professor Speth.”
 
Each year Unity College offers one of the “greenest,” most environmentally leading-edge Commencement ceremonies in America.  This year the College, which goes by the tag-line America’s Environmental College, will feature: local and sustainable foods; recycling and waste management; caps and gowns made from recyclable plastic bottles; local vendors; carbon offset purchases for all participants; a sustainable pledge for graduates to live a life in service to the planet; recycled paper for diplomas and programs; 100% of electricity purchased from renewable sources; and sapling trees for all graduates.
 
In recent years Unity College has gained national attention for a variety of achievements including its focus on sustainability science, the leading-edge of 21st century ecological problem solving and the vanguard in the fight for the mitigation of global climate change; its ground-breaking “green” innovations such as the award-winning TerraHaus, the first student residence on a college or university campus built to the Passive House standard, the most energy efficient building standard in the world; and for being the first college in the United States to divest from investments in fossil fuels, igniting a growing national movement in higher education.
 
Unity College is a private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education that emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.
Friday, May 10, 2013