Cokie and Steve Roberts to Highlight Five Honorary Degree Recipients  at Montgomery College Commencement, May 22

Longtime DC Journalists Will Also Deliver Commencement Address

Montgomery College will recognize the class of 2015 in commencement ceremonies Friday, May 22, 2015 at 10 a.m. on the Rockville Campus. Graduates from the Germantown, Rockville and Takoma Park/Silver Spring Campuses, along with apprenticeship graduates in the Workforce Development and Continuing Education programs, will be honored at the ceremony.

In addition, the Board of Trustees will pay tribute to community leaders and College benefactors. Honorary degrees will be presented to Eliot Pfanstiehl, CEO and founder of Strathmore Hall Foundation, Inc; C. Marie Taylor, executive director of the Community Foundation of Montgomery County; Dr. Michael Lin, former chair of the Board of Trustees at Montgomery College and biomedical research scientist; and commencement speakers, journalists Cokie and Steve Roberts.

Cokie Roberts is a political commentator for ABC News, providing analysis for all network news programming. Roberts also contributes political analysis for National Public Radio. In her more than 40 years in broadcasting, she has won countless awards, including three Emmys. She was cited by the American Women in Radio and Television as one of the 50 greatest women in the history of broadcasting. In addition to her appearances on the airwaves, Roberts, along with her husband, Steven V. Roberts, writes a weekly column syndicated in newspapers around the country.

Steve Roberts has covered some of the major events of the last 50 years, including 12 presidential election campaigns. He spent 25 years with the New York Times serving as both the Congressional and White House correspondent. He was also a senior writer at U.S. News for seven years, specializing in national politics and foreign policy. Roberts and his wife, Cokie, write a nationally-syndicated newspaper column. In addition, Roberts is the Shapiro Professor of Media and Public Affairs at George Washington University (GW). His 2009 book From Every End of This Earth, the story of 13 immigrant families in America, started in the feature writing course he teaches at GW and is dedicated to his students.                                                                                                

Dr. Michael Lin emigrated from Taiwan, China to the U.S. more than 40 years ago. He received his PhD in biochemistry from Medical College of Georgia and worked as a biomedical research scientist at the National Institutes of Health for more than 30 years. He contributed to a Nobel Prize and his work was described in his mentor’s Nobel lecture. He is currently a member of Maryland Council for New Americans, the former chair of the Board of Trustees of Montgomery College, and member of the Committee of 100. He also serves on the Montgomery College Life Sciences Park Foundation Board. Over the years, Dr. Lin has assumed many leadership roles within the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), including serving as the national executive director.

Eliot Pfanstiehl is the CEO and founder of Strathmore Hall Foundation, Inc., which operates and presents programming at Strathmore, a multi-disciplinary arts center, including the Music Center and the Mansion at Strathmore, in Montgomery County, Maryland. Mr. Pfanstiehl led the successful effort to build the world-class Music Center at Strathmore which opened in 2005. Mr. Pfanstiehl has been a founder, president or chair of Montgomery County Arts Council, the Round House Theatre, the League of Washington Theatres and Strathmore. He has served on numerous other boards including the Friends of the Kennedy Center, Black Rock Arts Center, Cultural Alliance of Greater Washington, and the Maryland Association of Non-profit Organizations. Mr. Pfanstiehl is the founding president of Maryland Leadership Workshops and has led over 300 board and strategic planning retreats for a range of non-profit civic, arts and social service organizations, government agencies and businesses.

  1. Marie Taylor is the executive director of the Community Foundation of Montgomery County. She has been an exceptional partner with Montgomery College through philanthropy, advocacy initiatives such as health insurance for students, and projects such as the African American Youth Report. She has also served as executive director of Interfaith Works and had a long career at Food & Friends, a nonprofit organization providing meals and counseling to individuals living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, or other life-challenging illnesses. She holds a BA in human relations and a MBA in nonprofit management from Trinity University.
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