FSU to Celebrate 147th Commencement

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

About 350 students will participate in the 147th Commencement for Fairmont State University at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 14, in the Feaster Center.

Fairmont State alumnus H. Skip Tarasuk, Jr. will be the Commencement speaker. R. Mitch Moore of Hundred will be the student speaker representing the Class of 2016. Also during the ceremony, Bruce Stanley will be awarded the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters. Stanley has brought a number of jury cases to verdict in both state and federal courts. Among the high-profile cases in which he has been involved is Caperton v. Massey, which resulted in a landmark opinion issued by the Supreme Court of the United States on the issue of campaign contributions and judicial recusal.

For those who would like to view the May 14 ceremony from home, video will be streamed live at www.fairmontstate.edu/livegraduation. A screen also will be set up in the second floor Main Street area of the Falcon Center to allow guests to watch the ceremony live from that location. A reception in Gym 1 of the Falcon Center with light refreshments will immediately follow the ceremony.

FSU’s School of Nursing and Allied Health Administration Spring Commencement and Pinning Ceremony will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 12, in the Feaster Center. The pinning ceremony is a long-held tradition that is a symbolic welcoming of newly graduated nurses into the profession of nursing. The graduate nurse is presented with the nursing pin by the faculty of the nursing program. Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Associate of Science in Nursing graduates will participate in the May 12 ceremony.

“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.”

To keep traffic flowing smoothly on campus on May 14, the Department of Public Safety will re-route the loop around campus to become one way. Officers and other attendants will be on hand to direct traffic and answer parking questions. Motorists should enter campus from the Bryant Street entrance.

Some parking changes also will be in effect. Students participating in Commencement should park in the tennis courts area for rehearsal. The parking lot located below the Practice Field near College Park Apartments is closed due to construction for new campus housing. A temporary parking lot with 245 spaces is available and is located adjacent to the Tennis Court. Faculty and staff are encouraged to park in the parking garage to allow graduates and guests access to the parking spaces closest to the Feaster Center.

Handicapped accessible parking will be located in the Pence Hall parking lot for those using wheelchairs and walkers and in the parking lot located beside the Feaster Center. Handicapped accessible seating is available on the second floor of the Joe Retton Arena, so those with mobility issues should enter the Feaster Center from the second floor entrance.

Sign language interpreting services will be provided during the ceremony. The Office of Disability Services will provide Commencement programs in large print and Braille at the Feaster Center. For more information, call the Office of Disability Services at (304) 367-4686 or the Department of Public Safety at (304) 367-4157.

H. Skip Tarasuk, Jr.

H. Skip Tarasuk, Jr. graduated from Farmington High School in 1967 and continued his education at Fairmont State. He graduated with a degree in secondary education in 1971. Tarasuk is employed by BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company in Charleston as a Special Projects Consultant. He serves as Chairman of BrickStreet’s Agents Advisory Council. Tarasuk was the first Chairman of the Board of Directors for BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company from 2006 to 2009. BrickStreet was the 15th largest writer of workers’ compensation coverage in the United States and the second largest West Virginia based insurance company with more than 550 employees and first year premium of $530 million.

Tarasuk is the former owner and was president of Davis & Tarasuk Insurance Corporation until 2012. He previously served as president for Marion County United Way, Marion County ARC, Fairmont Jaycees and the Fairmont State Foundation, Inc. Tarasuk also served as past director and officer for the Salvation Army, Marion County Chamber of Commerce, West Virginia State Jaycees, West Virginia State Special Olympics, Marion County Humane Society and the Board of Governors of Fairmont State University. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Fairmont State University Foundation and was honored by the Fairmont State Alumni Association as Outstanding Alumnus during Homecoming 2015.

On November 12, 2015, BrickStreet Foundation presented FSU Foundation, Inc. with a $1 million gift for scholarships in honor of Mr. Tarasuk for his dedicated years of service to Fairmont State University and BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company.

Tarasuk resides in Fairmont with his wife Connie. They are the parents of Hilary, a government and external relations specialist for BrickStreet Mutual Insurance Company in Charlotte, N.C. 

R. Mitch Moore

R. Mitch Moore of Hundred is the Senior Class Representative for the Class of 2016. A graduate of Hundred High School, he is the son of Randy and Janet Moore, and he follows his great-grandmother, grandmother, and mother as a member of the Falcon Family. Moore graduates from Fairmont State University today with Bachelor of Science degrees in Accounting and Business Administration with a Finance concentration, and he is also a graduate of the FSU Honors Program.

“I came to Fairmont State to give it a chance,” Moore said. “My parents told me I could transfer anywhere I wanted after the first year, but before mid-term of my first semester I had no doubt that I would be at Fairmont State for the rest of my undergraduate career. My faculty were stellar, my fellow students were extremely supportive, and my time as Student Body President just culminated an already amazing experience.”

As a student at Fairmont State, Moore was named to either the President’s List or the Dean’s list each semester, was awarded multiple scholarships through the FSU School of Business, won the National Merit Scholarship Award through the Delta Mu Delta honorary, and received the Outstanding Student Leadership Award from the Accreditation Council for Business Schools & Programs. Additionally, Moore conducted research through the School of Business and the Honors Program concerning Foreign Currency markets and risk management strategies, and he presented that research at the University Celebration of Student Scholarship.

Moore is most notably recognized, though, for his involvement in University life. For two years, Moore served his fellow students and the University as the Student Body President. Throughout his experience at FSU, Moore was able to assist in the formation of five different student organizations, was an active member of more than ten, and was heavily involved in numerous community service projects.

“Graduating from a University is about so much more than the hours spent studying or in the classroom. My involvement on campus and the memories associated with that experience will be what I cherish for the rest of my life,” Moore said.

As a senior at Fairmont State, Moore challenged his class to be the first to donate a class gift to the University. Their gift is a Veterans Plaza signifying the University’s support and respect for its Student Veterans.

In December of 2015, Moore was accepted to pursue his Juris Doctorate at the West Virginia University College of Law as a member of the class of 2019, and he will begin his study at WVU in the fall of 2016.

Bruce Stanley

Born and raised in the coal fields of southern West Virginia, Bruce Stanley worked his way through school, graduating from the West Virginia University College of Arts and Sciences and the West Virginia University College of Law, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the West Virginia Law Review. He is admitted to practice in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Prior to starting his own practice, he was a partner for many years at the Pittsburgh office of global law firm Reed Smith.

Stanley has brought a number of jury cases to verdict in both state and federal courts. Among the high-profile cases in which he has been involved is Caperton v. Massey, which resulted in a landmark opinion issued by the Supreme Court of the United States on the issue of campaign contributions and judicial recusal. In the Aracoma mine fire litigation, he represented the widows and estates of coal miners who perished in a tragic underground fire in Logan County, obtaining significant settlements against both the mine operator and the United States government. His efforts on those as well as other cases involving the former Massey Energy Corporation were chronicled in “The Price of Justice: A True Story of Greed and Corruption, by New York Times best-selling author Laurence Leamer.

Stanley’s most recent multi-million dollar verdict was a $3 million award against a national railroad for a train derailment that collapsed a coal tipple and severely injured a coal miner trapped inside the fallen structure. He has also handled a number of complex arbitrations before panels of the American Arbitration Association and the International Chamber of Commerce. Stanley volunteered for many years as an adjunct lecturer at the West Virginia University College of Law, teaching a three credit hour course on construction law topics.  He also served for three years on the West Virginia University College of Law Development Council.