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Former Joint Chiefs chairman to speak at UAF commencement

Submitted by Marmian Grimes
Phone: (907) 474-7902


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Hugh Shelton

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Catherine Attla

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Norbert Untersteiner

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the Rev. Edward Hartmann

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Retired Gen. Henry Hugh Shelton, a former two-term chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, will be the keynote speaker for this year's University of Alaska Fairbanks commencement ceremony May 13, 2007 at the Carlson Center.

Shelton's 38-year military career began shortly after he graduated from North Carolina State University with a bachelor's degree in textiles. He was commissioned as a lieutenant in the infantry through the Reserve Officer Training Corps and embarked on a career that included a variety of command and staff positions. He served two combat tours in Vietnam and participated in the liberation of Kuwait during Operation Desert Shield and Operation Desert Storm.

In 1997, Shelton was appointed the 14th chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a position he held until his retirement in 2001.

Shelton holds a master's degree from Auburn University and has attended Harvard University, the Air Command and Staff College and the National War College. His awards include four Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Army Distinguished Service Medals, the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal for Valor, the Purple Heart and a Congressional Gold Medal. In 2001, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

Shelton is one of three people who will receive honorary doctoral degrees during UAF's 85th commencement ceremony. Athabascan elder and author Catherine Attla and veteran atmospheric scientist Norbert Untersteiner will also receive honorary degrees. During the ceremony, UAF will also honor the Rev. Edward Hartmann with a Meritorious Service Award.

Attla is a Koyukon Athabascan from Huslia and has been an Athabascan culture bearer for more than a quarter of a century. In the 1980s, she began tape recording the traditional stories she learned from her grandfather. Since then, she has published three collections of traditional Koyukon stories with the UAF Alaska Native Language Center and, in 1997, was honored with the Governor's Award for Native Arts. She is also an active participant in the academic environment at UAF, serving as an elder-in-residence in Alaska Native Studies classes and an elder on the Interior-Aleutians Campus Council, where she is often sought out for her knowledge of Athabascan history and culture.

Untersteiner first came to UAF in 1957 during the International Geophysical Year. He was scientific leader of the IGY Drifting Station Alpha, which gathered important data in the arctic region, from 1957-1958. He spent much of his career at the University of Washington, where he earned acclaim internationally as an arctic scientist and policy advisor. He was named professor emeritus at the University of Washington in 1997 and from 1999-2005 served as the Sydney Chapman Chair of Physical Sciences at UAF. Untersteiner holds a Ph. D. from the University of Innsbruck in Austria. His international awards and honors include the Cross of Honor for Arts and Sciences, the Antarctic Service Medal and the Citation for Distinguished Service to International Geophysics. In 2005, Untersteiner was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Hartmann recently retired after a 32-year career as a Roman Catholic priest. Most recently, he served as pastor of Sacred Heart Cathedral in Fairbanks, a parish of more than 1,000 families. His work there included leading and developing service projects that help feed and house the poor, support programs for alcoholics and widowed or divorced adults, and humanitarian mission endeavors such as tsunami relief. His professional life has also included 26 years in the U.S. Army and spiritual service throughout Alaska. Hartmann holds a bachelor's degree in philosophy from Don Bosco College and a master's degree from St. Joseph's Seminary College. His service to UAF includes three years as an unpaid affiliate assistant professor of psychology, during which he helped the College of Liberal Arts develop a course in the psychology of religion. In addition, he has served on UAF's Institutional Review Board for protection of human subjects in research.

Honorary degree recipients are chosen for their lasting contributions to the state and nation and for significant achievements in their respective disciplines. Meritorious Service Awards recognize outstanding service to the local community.


Saturday, May 12
Commencement Rehearsal
10:30 a.m.-Carlson Center

Graduate Picnic
12:30-2:30 p.m.-Wood Center

Sunday, May 13
Graduation Mass
10:30 a.m.-Schaible Auditorium

Processional line-up, Carlson Center
12:20 p.m.-Graduates
12:45 p.m.-Faculty and administration
12:45 p.m.-Stage party and honorary degree recipients

Commencement Ceremony
Noon-Carlson Center opens for guests
1:20 p.m.-Academic procession begins
1:30 p.m.-Ceremony begins

Commencement Reception
Immediately following the ceremony in the Carlson Center's Pioneer
Room, sponsored by the Fairbanks Chapter of the UAF Alumni Association.

CONTACT: UAF public information officer Marmian Grimes at (907) 474-7902 or via e-mail at marmian.grimes@uaf.edu.

ON THE WEB: www.uaf.edu/commencement/2007/

High-resolution photos are available for download.