Ivy Leaf - Spring 2001

Commencement 2001


The Honorable Bud Shuster, former U.S. Representative of the 9th Congressional District of Pennsylvania, encouraged Penn State Altoona's graduates to follow their dreams as he delivered the College's commencement address on Saturday, May 5, in the Adler Athletic Complex.

The ceremony included the conferring of degrees for nearly 200 associate and baccalaureate degree students. The ceremonies also marked the fourth year that Penn State Altoona has been a four-year college and the first year that students enrolled in the college's science baccalaureate degree program received degrees.

During his commencement address, Congressman Shuster related a story of himself as an 11-year old boy, when he said he first decided he wanted to be a congressman. He had been in a local congressman's home and heard him promise several individuals, each with unique situations, that he would do whatever he could to help them. He encouraged the new graduates to follow their own dreams, as well.

During his time in office, Congressman Shuster served 15 terms as a Member of the United States House of Representatives and served as the Chairman of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which included jurisdiction over highways, transit, railroads, aviation, water resources, economic development, the Merchant Marines, the Coast Guard, and public buildings and grounds. He was a principal author of much of America's transportation legislation during the past two decades, including the landmark Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA), the most historic transportation legislation since President Eisenhower and the Congress created the Interstate Highway System in 1956. Building on ISTEA, Congressman Shuster authored the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) in 1998. Renowned for restoring faith in the Highway Trust Fund, this legislation guarantees that the revenue from highway users will be used to fund transportation infrastructure. TEA-21 will invest $219 billion in highway and transit systems, and in the process create over 6.6 million jobs by 2003.

Congressman Shuster is the only Pennsylvanian in over half a century to win both the Republican and Democratic Congressional nominations nine times. He is the author of three books and holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Pittsburgh where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa, an MBA from Duquesne University, a Ph.D. in Business from the American University, and an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Saint Francis University.

He received more than 122 prestigious awards during his terms in office, including the "Watchdog of the Treasury" award for his efforts to control government spending and the "Guardian of Small Business" award for his efforts on behalf of the free enterprise economy, as well as many others. Never having run for public office before his election to Congress in 1972, Shuster was previously involved in the installation of some of the first UNIVAC's in America, becoming a vice-president of RCA's Electronic Computer Division at the age of 33, and a founder of a computer software company at the age of 36. He also served as a U.S. Army officer and counter-intelligence agent.

John Casanave, president of the Penn State Altoona Alumni Society, welcomed the graduates into the Penn State Alumni Association. Obie Snider, a member of the Penn State University Board of Trustees, authorized conferring of degrees; William G. Cale Jr., CEO and Dean, presided over commencement and conferred degrees; and Kjell Meling, Associate Dean and Director of Academic Affairs, presented diplomas.

"To our new graduates, we wish you well in your future endeavors," said Dr. William Cale, CEO and Dean. "There will, of course, be times of accomplishment and times of challenge ahead. We urge you to approach them with confidence and a realization that learning is a life-long process."