Newman, Sample to be Honored at UB's 160th Commencement

By Sue Wuetcher

Release Date: May 1, 2006

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- Reginald B. Newman II, chairman and former president of NOCO Energy Corp., a family-owned petroleum company, and longtime friend and supporter of UB, will receive the Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal, UB's highest award, during the university's 160th general commencement ceremony, to be held at 10 a.m. May 14 in Alumni Arena, North (Amherst) Campus.

Steven B. Sample, president of the University of Southern California and UB's 12th president, will receive an honorary doctor of science degree from SUNY during the ceremony.

Some 5,000 students are candidates to receive degrees during the general commencement and 14 other ceremonies to be held May 5, May 11-14, and May 20.

President John B. Simpson will speak at the general commencement ceremony, as will graduating senior Mohammed F. Javed.

Simpson and Satish K. Tripathi, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs, will confer degrees.

Thirty-eight students will be recognized during the general commencement.

To receive the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence are William P. Chapman, Brittany H. Dolph, Deepa Govindaraj, Rebecca M. Haderer, Erica M. Pastore, Jeet Patel and Robert N. Spengler III. Four SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence winners -- Kelly D. Harris (double major in chemistry and biomedical sciences), Amie J. Kraus (biological sciences and biomedical sciences), Allana M. Krolikowski (Spanish and biomedical sciences) and Rena D. Malik (health and human services and biomedical sciences) -- will be recognized at both the general commencement ceremony and the biomedical sciences ceremony on May 11. Nicholas D. Holzmacher, also winner of a SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence, who will receive a dual degree in business and mathematics, will be honored at both general commencement and at the School of Management ceremony on May 13. Samir Nayyar, another recipient of the SUNY Chancellor's Award for Student Excellence will be recognized at the biomedical sciences ceremony; Danelle C. Schrader will be recognized at the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences ceremony on May 13.

During the general commencement ceremony, Rachel V. Bernstein will receive the Division of Student Affairs Senior Leadership Award.

Twenty-seven graduates will receive the College of Arts and Sciences Dean's Outstanding Senior Awards. They are Daniel A. Soto, African American studies; Joan Schnell, American studies; Brittany Dolph, anthropology; Dawn Exton, art; Erica Pastore, art history; Mandeep Samra, biological sciences.

Also, Lok Lok Liu, chemistry; Kathryn Kohout, classics; Theresa Gugger, communicative disorders and sciences; Carl Woelfel, economics; Shea W. Bigsby, English; Matthew J. Cascarino, geography; Victoria Everett, geology; William P. Chapman, history and psychology.

Also, Rena Malik, Interdisciplinary Degree Programs; Adam Sposato, linguistics; Matthew E. Pragel, mathematics; Timothy Gera, media study; Gabe I. Goodwin, music; Timothy Campbell, philosophy; Michael Dziomba, physics.

Also, Andrea L. Voelker, political science; Kelsey Riley, romance languages and literatures; Lauren Ann Alessi, sociology; Jeffrey Nisbet, special major; Jeffrey Coyle, theatre and dance; Joelle Bence, women's studies.

Vocalists at the general commencement will be Evan S. McCormack and Sarah A. Stanistreet.

The Norton Medal is presented annually in public recognition of a person who has, in Norton's words, "performed some great thing which is identified with Buffalo…a great civic or political act, a great book, a great work of art, a great scientific achievement, or any other thing which, in itself, is truly great and ennobling, and which dignifies the performer and Buffalo in the eyes of the world."

Norton Medal recipient Reginald B. Newman II is a leading Western New York businessman and longtime friend and supporter of UB. He has served on the UB Foundation's board of trustees since 1989 and has chaired that board since 1996.

Newman has been affiliated with numerous prominent Western New York companies and organizations, including the Greater Buffalo Partnership, Millard Fillmore Health System, the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Shea's Performing Arts Center and United Way of Buffalo and Erie County.

He also is a longtime supporter of the Intercollegiate Scholarship Fund at UB, as well as several other university programs. In 1997, he was recognized by the School of Management as the Niagara Frontier Executive of the Year, in tribute to his outstanding accomplishments in the Western New York business community.

President of the University of Southern California since 1991, Steven B. Sample is the first holder of the Robert C. Packard President's Chair at USC. During his presidency, USC was named Time magazine's 2000 College of the Year, and in 2003, Sample was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in tribute to his presidential leadership.

A past chairman of the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU), Sample is a co-founder of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities and a founding member of the California Business-Higher Education Forum. He was appointed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger to serve on the California Commission for Jobs and Economic Growth, and serves on the boards of numerous prominent organizations, including the Los Angeles World Affairs Council, the William Wrigley Jr. Company and American Mutual Fund Inc.

A noted engineer, inventor and educator, he is the author of the acclaimed 2001 book "The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership."

Under Sample's leadership as UB's 12th president from 1982-91, the university was selected as a member of the AAU and significantly expanded the scope of its research enterprise. He was awarded the Chancellor Charles P. Norton Medal in 2004 in appreciation of his enduring impact on UB and on the larger higher education community.

In addition to the general commencement ceremony, UB will hold 14 other commencement ceremonies:

• School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, 2 p.m., May 5, Center for the Arts, North Campus. Rubens J. Pamies, M.D. '86, vice chancellor for academic affairs, dean for graduate studies and professor of internal medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, will speak. Simpson will confer degrees.

• Biomedical sciences, 6 p.m., May 11, Center for the Arts. This ceremony recognizes graduate and undergraduate students in the biomedical sciences, including special studies majors. The speaker will be Richard W. Hanson, professor of biochemistry, School of Medicine, Case Western Reserve University. Simpson will confer degrees.

• Graduate School of Education, 9 a.m., May 12, Center for the Arts. Donna M. Fernandes, president and CEO, Buffalo Zoo, will speak. Simpson will confer degrees.

• Graduate School, 1 p.m., May 12, Center for the Arts. The speaker will be Timothy J. Dean, associate professor, UB Department of English. Simpson will confer degrees.

• School of Informatics, 9 a.m., May 13, Alumni Arena. Pamela Benson, B.A. '76, executive producer, National Security Affairs, CNN America Inc., will speak. Simpson will confer degrees.

• School of Social Work, 9 a.m., May 13, Center for the Arts. Robert F. Moss, CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters, will speak. Tripathi will confer degrees.

• School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, 1 p.m., May 13, Alumni Arena. The speaker will be Mark H. Karwan, dean of the engineering school. Simpson will confer degrees.

• School of Public Health and Health Professions, 1 p.m., May 13, Center for the Arts. Alan M. Jette, B.S. '73, professor of rehabilitation science, Boston University, will speak. Tripathi will confer degrees.

• School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, 1 p.m., May 13, Lippes Concert Hall, Slee Hall, North Campus. The speaker will be Margaret G. McGlynn, B.S. '82, M.B.A. '83, president, Merck Vaccines, Merck & Co. Inc. David L. Dunn, vice president for health sciences, will confer degrees.

• School of Architecture and Planning, 2 p.m., May 13, Hayes Hall lawn, South (Main Street) Campus. Dean Brian Carter will speak. Lucinda M. Finley, professor of law and vice provost for faculty affairs, will confer degrees.

• School of Management, 5 p.m., May 13, Alumni Arena. Dean John M. Thomas will speak. Bruce D. McCombe, SUNY Distinguished Professor and vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School, will confer degrees.

• School of Dental Medicine, 5 p.m., May 13, Center for the Arts. Antonia Novello, New York State health commissioner, will speak. Dunn will confer degrees.

• School of Nursing, 2 p.m., May 14, Center for the Arts. Dean Mecca S. Cranley will speak. Tripathi will confer degrees.

• Law School, 3 p.m., May 20, Center for the Arts. Michael A. Battle, J.D. '81, director, Executive Office for the United States Attorneys, U.S. Department of Justice, will speak. Tripathi will confer degrees.