May 2, 2001
More than 1,000 students are eligible to participate in the 36th annual commencement exercises at Harrisburg Area Community College on Saturday, May 12 beginning at 10:30 am, outside on the grounds of the Wildwood Campus. Students from HACC's four campuses in Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, and Gettysburg will attend the ceremony.

HACC Board of Trustees members, Rosemary T. McAvoy, and Donald E. Schell, along with HACC President, Dr. Edna V. Baehre, will present degrees and diplomas to members of the graduating class.

Dr. Baehre and Velma A. Redmond, Esq., chair of HACC's Board of Trustees, will present an honorary doctor of public service degree to George M. Leader, former Governor of Pennsylvania.

Governor Leader will be honored for his lifelong mission to improve the quality of life for Pennsylvania residents, young and old, through educational initiatives and health care advocacy. Governor Leader was one of the strongest advocates for the establishment of Harrisburg Area Community College, and continues to be a steadfast advocate, donor, and friend to the College. As a proponent of higher education, Governor Leader has worked to promote HACC as an affordable educational opportunity for citizens throughout Central Pennsylvania. He is a past member of the HACC Foundation Board of Directors.

As a member of the Council for Public Education, Governor Leader promoted quality education in the public school system. As chair of The George M. Leader Family Corporation, a statewide network of retirement centers, Governor Leader served as Co-Chair of the Capital Region Health Futures Council. As Governor, he appointed the first Commissioner of the Aging; promulgated the first set of licensure regulations for nursing homes; created the first Board of Licensure for Practical Nurses; and appointed the Governor's Committee for Handicapped and Retarded Children.

The featured speaker during HACC's commencement will be Chief Executive Officer of The Milton Hershey School, Dr. William L. Lepley.

Dr. Lepley earned his associate's degree at Centerville Junior College,and continued his studies to earn a doctorate in education at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He is head of one of the largest private trusts in America, The Milton Hershey School. The school is a cost-free, non-sectarian, residential school serving more than 1200 4-18 year-old boys and girls with financial or social needs. Dr. Lepley serves as a trustee for the Philadelphia University, is a member of the National Skill Standards Board, the Advisory Board for the World Children's Center, and the Claremont Graduate University School Board of Advisors. Locally, Dr. Lepley serves on the Board for WITF, Inc. and is chair of the Capital Region Education Steering Committee for the ENVISION project.

Remarks will also be shared by HACC Alumni Association President, Nathaniel Hench, HACC faculty member for technical/business writing, Valerie A. Gray, and a student from the graduating class.

Music for the graduation ceremony will be provided by the Bill Hicks Brass Ensemble.

Note: In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will be held in the Cooper Student Center.

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