Putnam and Williams to Address Keene State Grads
KEENE, N.H. 4/27/06 - James A. Putnam, president of MARKEM Corporation, and Julius P. Williams, composer and professor at Berklee College of Music, will receive honorary doctoral degrees and address KSC graduates at the College Commencement on Sunday, May 7.
President Helen Giles-Gee will award associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees to the more than 838 graduates who are expected to attend. The event begins at 1 p.m. on Fiske Quad.
James A. Putnam is president of MARKEM Corporation, an international manufacturing firm based in Keene. In 2003 the company was named "best large company to work for in New Hampshire" by Business N.H. Magazine.
Putnam joined MARKEM in 1974 following service in the Peace Corp in Libya and Thailand. He has been actively involved with the N.H. Charitable Foundation since 1982, was on the committee that created the Monadnock Community Foundation (MCF) in 1998, and served as the first chair of MFC's board of directors from 1998-2002. Honored with a Granite State Award by the USNH trustees in 1995 for his service to the people of New Hampshire, Jim has been active in countless civic and nonprofit organizations including the N.H. Historical Society, the Colonial Theatre, and Monadnock United Way. The Putnam family has contributed to many capital projects at Keene State, including the Putnam Theatre at the Redfern Arts Center. Most recently, Jim chaired the successful capital campaign for Keene State's new Science Center.
Julius P. Williams is a conductor, prolific composer, recording artist, and pianist who has appeared with major symphony orchestras throughout the United States and Europe. His discography includes the critically acclaimed Symphonic Brotherhood, a collection of original African-American symphonic works, and several other recordings. His cantata Journey to Freedom is a choral tribute to Keene native Jonathan Daniels, who was murdered while working on Martin Luther King's voter registration drive in Selma, Alabama, in 1965. The piece, incorporating choral music in contemporary, classical, gospel, jazz, rock, and blues styles, was performed at the Jonathan Daniels commemoration in Keene on October 16, 2005.
Williams has served as assistant conductor of the Brooklyn Philharmonic and the American Symphony Orchestra. He was music director of the Washington Symphony Orchestra, and remains Laureate Music Director there. He has held faculty posts at several colleges and universities, including Wesleyan University, University of Hartford, and the University of Vermont. He is now professor of composition and conducting at Berklee College of Music in Boston, and a codirector of the Videmus Recording Company.
The Commencement ceremony is the culmination of graduation activities at Keene State. On Saturday, May 6, the Spring Honors Convocation will be held at 4 p.m. in the Main Theatre of the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond. "Emerging Art: The Annual Students Art Exhibition" will be on display at the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery on Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. For information on Commencement activities call Pauline Dionne in the office of the Vice President for Academic Affairs at 358-2106 or email@example.com.