Robert E. Cook

The benefactor of Indiana University of Pennsylvania's Robert E. Cook Honors College will serve as IUP's May commencement keynote speaker.

Robert E. Cook, a 1964 graduate of IUP and a native of Altoona, will speak at the ceremony on May 3 at 11 a.m. at Miller Stadium.

The student commencement speaker is Kali Jean Rosenberger, Westgate Drive, Pittsburgh, a Spanish and English education major.

Eligible to participate in this year's May ceremony are 1,603 graduates. The breakdown of degrees expected to be granted is 1,238 bachelor's degrees, 331 master's degrees, 29 doctoral degrees and five associate degrees.

Of the bachelor's degree graduates, 623 qualify for Latin honors with a grade-point average of 3.25 or higher. Thirty-six undergraduate students completed their academic career with perfect 4.0 grade-point averages.

For the second year, all students participating in May commencement will be recognized by name and will be congratulated on stage by IUP President Dr. Tony Atwater and members of the platform party. Participating graduates will receive a special keepsake diploma cover, only available to students participating in the May commencement ceremony. This addition to the ceremony is a presidential initiative.

Cook, of St. Helena, Calif., endowed IUP's Robert E. Cook Honors College in 1993 and has been actively involved with its nurturing since that time, with additional funding for specific projects and programs.

This year is the tenth anniversary of the first graduating class (class of 2000) of the Robert E. Cook Honors College.

Cook spent his career as a serial entrepreneur in computer software. His first company was VM Software, later named System Center, which was founded in 1981. Listed on both the Nasdaq and the New York stock exchanges, it was sold in 1993. He acted as a seed investor, CEO adviser and board member of several other software companies.

Cook served as a regular Army officer from 1964 until 1969 with service in Europe, Vietnam, and Washington, D.C. In addition to his bachelor's degree from IUP, Cook earned an MBA from George Washington University.

Student speaker Rosenberger, a 2004 graduate of North Allegheny High School, has studied abroad in Curridabat, Costa Rica; Antigua, Guatemala; Quito, Ecuador; and Valladolid, Spain.

She was honored with the 2007 Outstanding English Major Award. She is a member of the IUP Spanish Club, Sigma Delta Pi national Spanish honors society, Sigma Tau Delta national English honors society, the National Council of Teachers of English and the American Council of the Teachers of Foreign Languages.

She has done a variety of community service activities, including serving as a tutor for several Indiana and IUP programs, serving as a volunteer teacher with street children in Quito, and working with IUP's Alternative Spring Break program in New Orleans, rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

She worked as a student secretary and brochure designer for IUP's Southwestern Pennsylvania Writing Project during her senior year at IUP.

Area students completing their studies with 4.0 grade-point averages are as follows:

  • Political science major Emily A. Farren, daughter of James and Rebecca Farren, Fifth Street, Indiana, a 2003 graduate of Indiana Area Senior High School. She volunteered with the IUP Student Judicial Board and was selected for Delta Epsilon Iota honor society.
  • Sociology major Amber J. Stenman, Abel Road, Marion Center, daughter of Rodney Stenman, of Home, and Randa Shick, of Marion Center, a 2005 graduate of Marion Center Area High School. She was selected for Phi Kappa Phi honor society and is a member of Delta Phi Epsilon sorority. She also volunteers with the Center for Family Life.
  • Speech-language pathology major Renee Trout, daughter of Gregory and Claudia Trout, North Eighth Street, Indiana, a 2005 graduate of Indiana Area Senior High School. She is a member of the IUP chapter of the National Student Speech, Language and Hearing Association and the GRIP Christian student organization affiliated with Grace United Methodist Church. A student worker in the IUP financial aid office, she was nominated as Student Employee of the Year and is the recipient of the Patti Hurley Memorial Scholarship.
  • Elementary education major Erin Renee Woods, Tipperary Road, Northern Cambria, daughter of Guy Mark Woods, Northern Cambria, and Bridget Super, Penn Run, a 2005 graduate of Penns Manor Junior Senior High School. She is a member of the IUP chapter of the National Education Association and Sign In sign language group.

Two IUP graduates will be commissioned as military officers by Lt. Col. Sidney Zemp. Both were selected as Distinguished Military Graduates, with grades in the top 20 percent of ROTC graduates in the nation. They are Amanda Elizabeth Cooper, a nursing major, of Williamstown, and political science major Patrick Michael Zang, of Mechanicsburg.

Commencement ceremonies begin with a welcome by Atwater. Remarks will be presented by Rosenberger and by Cook, then degrees will then be conferred by the president, Provost Dr. Gerald W. Intemann and Dr. David L. Myers, interim vice provost for research and dean of graduate studies.