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Honorary Degree, 2009 Granite State Award Presented at Keene State College's Commencement May 8

KEENE, N.H., 5/4/10 - President Helen Giles-Gee will award associate’s, bachelor’s, and master’s degrees to more than 950 graduates at Keene State College’s Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 8. The event begins at 1 p.m. on Fiske Quad.

Doctor Carol Geary Schneider will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree for her outstanding efforts to transform liberal education and equip students for success in a rapidly changing world. The 2010 Granite State Award will be presented to Mr. David Gagne for his professional accomplishments and dedication to service, which exemplify the best of the Keene State tradition and the Granite State spirit.

Dr. Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U;) since 1998, has galvanized action around higher education issues like access, student cost, accountability, diversity, and learning outcomes. In 2005, she initiated Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP), a 10-year public advocacy and campus action initiative designed to engage students and the public with what really matters in a 21st century college education. Through LEAP, AAC&U; has acknowledged the emergence of a demanding new global environment and joined with employers and policymakers to understand and promote the kind of learning critical for today’s students. (For its efforts to prepare students for scholarship, work, and citizenship, Keene State College is recognized as an official LEAP Campus Action Network Exemplar.)

Dr. Schneider is a magna cum laude graduate and was a member of the Board of Trustees of Mount Holyoke College, where she received a bachelor’s degree in history. She studied at the University of London’s Institute for Historical Research and earned a Ph.D. in early modern history from Harvard University.

David Gagne is founder and managing general partner of IronWorks Executive Partners, Inc., a business-consulting firm that focuses on team building within emerging and growing high-technology companies. He has been an advocate for the College as a student leader, a staff member, a volunteer, and a member of the Keene State College Alumni Association. During his undergraduate years, he was the first student trustee appointed to the University System of New Hampshire Board (USNH) of Trustees. In the 1980s, Mr. Gagne was elected to the Keene State College Alumni Board of Directors, where he served as president from 2005 to 2009. He then served as the Keene State alumni trustee on the USNH Board of Trustees, representing the College and its students for four years.

Mr. Gagne graduated from Keene State in 1973 with a B.S. in communication and earned an M.S. in adult education at the University of Southern Maine. He has served on numerous boards and councils and as a steward for several public causes, including the Amherst Conservation Commission, Hazeltine Community Preserve, and Keene State College Veterans’ Service Monument Committee.

The Commencement Ceremony is the culmination of graduation activities at Keene State. On Friday, May 7, the Spring Honors Convocation will be held at 4 p.m. in the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond. The Convocation recognizes excellence in student scholarship and leadership, the recipients of undergraduate academic honors (students graduating with a GPA of 3.5-4.0), and the Leo F. Redfern Outstanding Citizen.

All events are free and open to the public. The ceremony will also be broadcast on closed-circuit television in the Mabel Brown Room in the Student Center and in Morrison Hall on the quad. For information on Commencement activities, please contact Barbara Preston at or Patricia Hitchner at

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Keene, New Hampshire 03435