Friday, May 04, 2012

About 600 students will receive degrees during Spring Commencement for Fairmont State University at 1 p.m. Saturday, May 12, in the Feaster Center.

“I know firsthand the pride that Fairmont State University faculty and staff feel as they watch our students walk across the stage,” said Dr. Maria Rose, FSU President. “Commencement is an exciting time; it’s a joy to meet students’ families and be part of this important day in their lives. The University strives to provide the best educational experience for all students. Obviously that means academic programs but also so much more—lectures, fine arts performances and exhibits, participation in club sports, internships, co-ops and study-abroad programs. We want our students to be equipped to enter the workforce as highly-qualified and well-prepared employees, but we also want to prepare them for lifelong learning.”

Two former Fairmont State Student Government presidents will deliver remarks during the Commencement ceremony. Fairmont State alumnus Marvin Stewart will be the guest speaker. Meagan Gibson, a native of Lordstown, Ohio, will be the student speaker representing the Class of 2012.

In its ongoing effort to maximize accessibility to all campus activities and programs, the Office of Disability Services will sponsor an Access Kiosk for the ceremony in the Feaster Center. In addition to sign language interpreting for the ceremony, personal FM listening systems and instant transcription services will be available for checkout at the kiosk for those who have hearing difficulties. Personal FM listening systems broadcast sound directly to the user’s ears at the desired volume through headphones. Instant transcriptions allow users to read along during the ceremony using a laptop. Programs will be available in large print and Braille at the kiosk for those with vision difficulties.

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 regarding special needs, call the Office of Disability Services at (304) 367-4686 or the Department of Public Safety at (304) 367-4157.

A reception in the Falcon Center will immediately follow the ceremony. Light refreshments will be served. To add fun to the celebration, two SNAP SHOP photo booths will be available at the Falcon Center for use by graduates and their families. Those who use the booths will receive free souvenir photos. Copies of a special keepsake Spring Commencement 2012 publication printed by the Times West Virginian also will be available. The publication also will appear in the Times West Virginian and the Exponent-Telegram on May 12.

Marvin Stewart, (pictured above) who graduated from Fairmont State in 1976 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, is recognized as a strong and passionate leader in the human resources field. In 1975, Stewart became the first African-American student in the history of Fairmont State to be elected as Student Government President. Most recently, he received the Fairmont State University Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2007.

Stewart earned a master's degree from West Virginia University in business and economics. He has also spent time with graduate studies in the Master of Science Program at Eastern University in non-profit management.

He began his career at United Parcel Services (UPS) in 1972 as a loader/unloader in Fairmont. Throughout his 38-year career, Stewart rotated through various hub and package operations of the organization. The last 25 years of his career were spent in human resources working in workforce planning, employee relations, safety and community relations. His culminating years with UPS included completing a special assignment in New Orleans, La., representing UPS as they assisted victims of Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita.

Since retiring in January 2009, Stewart has been very active in the continuing development of people through his volunteer efforts. He also is embarking on a new career in consulting in the areas of talent search for non-profit organizations while exploring business ventures in the healthcare field.

Stewart is very active in service to his community and throughout the East Coast. He serves as a leader in his church, St Paul’s Baptist Church in West Chester, Pa., while serving as a board of directors member for various organizations including the Fairmont State Foundation, the Board of Trustees at Cabrini College in Radnor, Pa., the West Chester Police Athletic League (PAL), United Way of Chester County and Cigna Health Care. Stewart is married and has four adult children. He and his wife Phyllis reside in West Chester, Pa.


Meagan Gibson

Meagan Gibson was born and raised in the small town of Lordstown, Ohio. Graduating as salutatorian of Lordstown High School in 2008, she came to FSU to play for the women’s volleyball team.

During her first season at FSU, Gibson had to face the realization that her knees were deteriorating and acquired a medical red-shirt with the hope of finding a healthy and fresh start on the court for the next season. The following season, she started as an outside hitter for the Lady Falcons and made an immediate impact, making the second team All-WVIAC and the All-WVIAC freshman team. Gibson also led the WVIAC in kills (464); led the team with 39 aces, 325 digs and tallied 15 double-doubles in the season (kills/digs); and eight games of 20 kills or more.  Following what appeared to be a comeback season, Gibson found her knees continued to worsen, and she was forced to abandon the game she loved and the identity she found at FSU.

For her junior year, Gibson returned to campus and immersed herself in campus life. She joined the staff at the Falcon Center, played intramural volleyball and joined Student Government as an FSU House Representative. Later that semester, after excelling in her 3301 National Security and Intelligence course, she was asked to join the Open Source Intelligence Exchange (OSIX), the laboratory and applied research component of the University’s National Security and Intelligence program. In OSIX, Gibson received the opportunity to collaborate with local and state law enforcement and brief members of the intelligence community and senior members of the West Virginia state government such as Secretary of State Natalie Tennant.

In the spring of her junior year, Gibson was selected as a Frasure-Singleton intern at the West Virginia State Legislature for Sen. Robert Beach, was inducted into Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Honorary and was elected Student Government President of FSU and Pierpont.

Through her senior year, she served the campus community as President of Student Government. In this position, Gibson served on campus committees, helped voice student concerns and assisted in the implementation of dozens of student activities and community service initiatives. As President, Gibson received the honor to serve as a Convocation welcome speaker, dined with and introduced “60-Minutes” correspondent Byron Pitts for the Celebration of Idea’s Lecture Series, helped plan and arrange dozens of Homecoming 2011 events and earned many more honors and opportunities.

Gibson is graduating with a 3.8 GPA in Political Science and National Security and Intelligence with plans for immediate employment upon graduation.