One of Americas military leaders in the war on terrorism will address West Virginia University graduates during December convocation ceremonies Friday, Dec. 7., at the Creative Arts Center Concert Theatre. Gen. Robert H.”Doc”Foglesong, vice chief of staff for the U.S. Air Force, will speak during two ceremonies at 6 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.

“We are extremely proud to have an alumnus of such stature as Gen. Foglesong address our graduates,”said WVU President David Hardesty, who will present Foglesong with the Presidents Distinguished Service Award.”Given the events of Sept. 11 and the war we are now fighting, his remarks should be riveting,”he added.

Gen. Foglesong presides over the Air Staff and serves as a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Joint Requirements Oversight Council. His staff tours include duty as chief of the Air Force; chair and professor of joint and combined warfare, National War College; assistant to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington, D.C.; commander, U.S. Southern Command Air Forces; and deputy chief of staff for air and space operations at Headquarters U.S Air Force. Gen. Foglesongs nearly 20-year military/aviation career includes more than 3,800 flying hours, primarily in fighter and training assignments in the F-16, F-15, A-10 and AT/T-38.

He has received numerous awards and decorations, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, Air Force Achievement Medal and Military Outstanding Volunteer Service Medal. General Foglesong has published 37 articles on leadership, military and scientific subjects, and received an honorary doctorate degree in strategic intelligence from the Joint Military Intelligence College.

Before going into the military, he earned three degrees from WVU , including a doctorate in chemical engineering in 1971. He is a member of the Academy of Distinguished Alumni and Chemical Engineering Academy at WVU .

p. Pomp and Circumstance

  • p. While not a formal commencement, the 10th annual December Graduates Convocation honors those students who complete their degree-requirements in mid-year. Degrees are conferred during May commencement.

Due to favorable response from last years ceremony, December graduates will again don traditional caps and gowns and cross the stage as their names are called. Up until last years ceremony, December graduates did not dress in formal attire and only stood as a group as their college was recognized.

To accommodate the number of potential graduates and their families, two ceremonies are being heldone at 6 p.m. and one at 8:30 p.m.

Seniors graduating in December should have received an invitation in November for the convocation. Due to limited seating, reservations will be required and will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis.

*Honorary degree recipient

WVU will recognize the contributions of longtime state Agriculture Commissioner Gus Douglass during December convocation by conferring the honorary doctorate of science degree upon him.

Douglass, a native of Mason County (WV) and a graduate of WVU , was elected to his ninth term as West Virginias Commissioner of Agriculture in November 2000, making him the senior U.S. Commissioner of Agriculture. He began his service to agriculture at an early age when he was chosen as the state and national president of the Future Farmers of America (FFA). Later, he helped organize the National FFA Alumni Association and became its first president.

During his long career, Commissioner Douglass has greatly assisted farmers and farming communities throughout the Mountain State. He has worked diligently in creating basic programs designed to maintain family farms, promote agribusiness, bring relief to drought-stricken farms and support the utilization of new technologies to strengthen the poultry industry. Throughout all this, he has maintained his own farm with the support of his wife, Anna Lee, and son, Tom.

Douglass has also significantly contributed to the nations agricultural health. Six years ago, he was appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture to the Advisory Committee on Foreign Animal and Poultry Diseases, representing the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture (NASDA). He is a member of three NASDA committeesInternational Marketing, Food Regulation and Nutrition, and chairs the Animal and Plant Industries committee.

He serves on the West Virginia Rural Development Council of which he was past chairman, and presently chairs the State Soil Conservation Committee. He also is a member of the West Virginia Housing Development Fund, director of The Peoples Bank of Point Pleasant and a trustee for Pleasant Valley Hospital. In addition, Douglass serves as a member of both the State Farm Museum and State Fair boards.

His numerous awards include the Gamma Sigma Delta Award for Distinguished Service to West Virginia Agriculture, and the Progressive Farmer Magazines”Man of the Year”award in West Virginia Agriculture. He was enshrined in the Agriculture and Forestry Hall of Fame in 1990. In June 1998, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Assistant Secretary Mike Dunn recognized the commissioners efforts to help keep West Virginia disease-free by presenting him with the Pseudorabies-Free Award.

Former Gov. Cecil H. Underwood presented Douglass with a Distinguished West Virginian award in December 1998. During the same month, he was also bestowed with an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from West Virginia State College.