Friday, April 25, 2014

About 350 students will participate in Spring Commencement for Fairmont State University at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 10, in the Feaster Center. Video from the ceremony will be streamed live at www.fairmontstate.edu/live.

“As a graduate of Fairmont State myself, I know firsthand the life-changing power of a higher education degree. Our graduates are equipped to enter the workforce as highly-qualified and well-prepared employees,” said FSU President Maria Rose. “Our faculty and staff take pride in watching students walk across the stage during the ceremony.”

Fairmont State alumnus Frank Gabor will be the Spring Commencement speaker. Marianne W. Jenkins of Grafton will be the student speaker representing the Class of 2014.

A reception in Gym 1 on the first floor of the Falcon Center immediately will follow the ceremony. The reception will include refreshments, and guests will be able to have free souvenir photos taken at a photo booth provided by Snap Shop.

Handicapped parking will be available for the event, and staff from the Department of Public Safety will be on hand to direct traffic. The Feaster Center parking lot located directly across Squibb Wilson Boulevard from the Duvall-Rosier Field parking lot will be used for handicapped parking. This lot allows guests to enter the Feaster Center directly onto the arena floor. Seating will be available on the bottom rows of the arena for those with special needs. For more information, call the Office of Disability Services at (304) 367-4686 or the Department of Public Safety at (304) 367-4157.

Sign language interpreting services will be provided during the ceremony. The Office of Disability Services also will provide an Access Kiosk in the Feaster Center during the ceremony. Commencement programs also will be available in large print and Braille.

Frank “Pooch” Gabor, a Grant Town native, is the son of Frank and Theresa Gabor. He graduated from Fairview High School in 1953 and served in the United States Air Force from 1954 to 1957. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Fairmont State in 1961. While a student at Fairmont State, he was a member of Tau Beta Iota Fraternity and Who’s Who Among Students In American Universities and Colleges. He lettered for three years in baseball and one year in soccer. He earned his Master’s degree in Health Care Administration from George Washington University in 1964.

Gabor’s career in health care administration spanned 28 years and included senior leadership positions at the Hospital for Women of Maryland and the Greater Baltimore Medical Center. In 1976, he became President and Chief Executive Officer of MGH Health Services, Inc., a health care system comprised of a hospital and four other subsidiaries. He served as Regent for the state of Maryland representing all hospitals in the Council of Regents of the American College of Health Care Executives. He retired in December 1990. Community activities included serving as Chairman of the Board of the Maryland Heart Association’s Baltimore Chapter and its five connecting counties and subsequently as the Chairman of the Board of the Maryland Heart Association. In 2012, he was honored as Italian Man of the Year by the West Virginia Italian Heritage Festival. Gabor has served on the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc. Board of Directors and the Fairmont State Alumni Association Board of Directors. He is a past recipient of both the Fairmont State University Letterman of Distinction and Outstanding Alumni of the Year awards.

His wife Jane Gabor, the daughter of Hiriam “Baz” and Mary Clelland White, is a 1960 graduate of Fairmont State. The Gabors co-own six full-service About Faces Day Spas in Annapolis, Baltimore, Towson, Timonium, Pikesville and Salisbury, Md. The Gabors currently reside in Baltimore, Md., and are the parents of two adult children and grandparents of one beautiful granddaughter, Lillian.

Because of their major gift in support of the West Virginia Folklife Center at Fairmont State in 2006, the Gabors became the namesakes of the Frank and Jane Gabor West Virginia Folklife Center and continue to back its mission to identify, preserve and perpetuate the region’s rich cultural heritage. In 2007, the Gabors were honored with the Distinguished Citizen Award.

Marianne W. Jenkins of Grafton has been selected as the Senior Class Representative for the Class of 2014. A homeschooled GED recipient, she is the daughter of Dorothy and Roy B. Jenkins Jr. She will graduate from Fairmont State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Graphics Technology with a minor in Communications.

As a student at Fairmont State, Jenkins earned numerous awards for public speaking and debate including third place in the M.M. Neely Persuasive Speaking Contest in 2011, second place in 2012 and first place in 2013. She was a semi-finalist in the O’Donnell Debate Tournament at Marietta College in Ohio in 2012. She was nominated to participate in the Celebration of Student Scholarship in 2013 and won the Leadership in Debate Award in 2013. Also that year she received the Matthew M. and Alberta R. Neely Communication Endowed Scholarship. She earned two awards at the West Virginia International Forensic Association (IFA) State Championship in 2014, winning sixth place in Rhetorical Criticism and fourth place in Impromptu Speaking.

Jenkins interned in 2013 with Mountain State Physical Therapy and served as a teaching assistant to faculty member Kari Coffindaffer. Jenkins currently works as a freelance graphic designer and has worked with Mountain State Physical Therapy and Ads to Check Out in Grafton; she will work with the West Augusta Historical Society in the summer of 2014. She is an illustrator for Choosy Kids in Morgantown and volunteers as a docent at the Taylor County Art Gallery in Grafton. Jenkins has been accepted into the West Virginia University Integrated Marketing Communications Master's Program for fall 2014.