WESTMINSTER — I. King Jordan, a champion of the rights of deaf individuals and thepresident of Gallaudet University in Washington, is one of four people to receive honorary degrees at Western Maryland College's 121st commencement.
Jordan will be awarded a doctorate in humane letters at 2 p.m. Saturday in the Gill Physical Education Learning Center.
Other doctorates will go to Erich Willen, WMC Class of 1958, for science; and Clarisse B. Mechanic and Allen Quille for public service.
In March 1988, Jordan's appointment as the first deaf president of the world's only liberal arts university for deaf people was approved widely by students who had, days earlier, demanded the resignation of a hearing woman chosen by the board of trustees. He is known internationally as a speaker on behalf of deaf and disabled people.
In 1989, he received the Washingtonian of the Year Award, the Arthur S. Myklebust Distinguished Service Award, the Hubert H. Humphrey CivilRights Award, and the Leadership and Dedication Award for Civil and Human Rights for All Mankind.
As head of the Magnet Division at Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island, N.Y., Erich Willen, WMC Class of 1958, oversees the development of the magnet system for the proposed Superconducting Super Collider in Waxahachie, Texas. The sonof the late Joseph Willen, WMC professor of modern languages, Willenis a physicist.
Two civic leaders also will receive honorary doctorates.
Clarisse Mechanic, vice president of the Maryland Public Broadcasting Foundation, was the first woman member of the AdvertisingClub of Baltimore and was named that society's Woman of the Year in 1989. She is on the boards of directors of Cystic Fibrosis, Goodwill Corp. and the America-Israel Society of Maryland.
Allen Quille is a member of the Equal Opportunity Commission, the American Red Cross and the Democratic National Finance Committee. The owner of Baltimore-based Quille-Crown Parking Inc., she is also vice president of Harbor Bank.
Other highlights of this year's commencement include greetings from a graduating senior, a parent and a professor. They are: Wendy Sue Ruderman, a communication major from Cherry Hill, N.J.; retired Maj. Gen. John W. Huston, father of art history major John B. Huston of Annapolis; and David Webb Herlocker, professor of chemistry.
Special awards, the recipients of which will be announced at commencement, are the Argonaut Award, presented to the senior with the highest grade point average, and the Distinguished High School Teacher Award. Emeritus awards will go to Margaret Denman-West, associate professor of education; Carl Dietrich, department chairman and associate professor of music; and McCay Vernon, professor of psychology.
Degrees will be presented by President Robert H. Chambers to 315 undergraduate and 186 graduate students.