College of Graduate Studies 2006 Commencement

May 3rd, 2006 by Adam

Plymouth State University’s College of Graduate Studies announces its 56th Graduate Commencement, held Saturday, May 13 at 10 a.m. in the John C. Foley Gymnasium. A total of 311 students will receive degrees from PSU’s graduate programs, including 31 Certificate of Advanced Graduate Studies (CAGS) candidates, 43 M.B.A. candidates, 5 M.A.T. candidates and 232 M.Ed. candidates.

During the commencement ceremony, a posthumous graduate degree will be presented to the children of Barbara Christophel of Plymouth, a beloved special education teacher who died in a January automobile accident. Christophel, a teacher at School Street School in Lebanon, was two classes away from completing her M.Ed. in special education when she lost control of her car on an icy road in Rumney. Her son and daughters will receive the degree on her behalf, as well as an anthology of Christophel’s writings from a philosophy in education class taken at PSU.

PSU alumnus, former University System of New Hampshire trustee and leader in education Bill Marston ’54 (G ’64) will deliver this year’s commencement address. For more than 50 years, Marston has served as principal, headmaster, baseball coach and faculty member at elementary, middle and high schools, as well as colleges and universities, throughout the state. Marston’s rich background in all facets of education has made him a longstanding expert in school improvement, curriculum development, differentiated instruction, professional development and staff evaluation. Marston is also a current member of the PSU President’s Council, and was the 1998 recipient of the Silas Pearl Presidential Medallion for his service to the University.

During the commencement ceremony, PSU will honor two graduate faculty members with Distinguished Graduate Teaching Awards. Professor of English Meg Petersen, the coordinator of PSU’s M.Ed. program in English and the director of the Plymouth Writing Project, New Hampshire’s site of the National Writing Project, will receive the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award for the Master of Education and CAGS programs. Petersen is known throughout the PSU community for her dedication to teaching writing, supporting students and inspiring other educators. Through the Plymouth Writing Project, she directs invitational summer institutes for teachers; writing camps, publications and competitions for youth; and professional development workshops throughout the year for teachers of writing at all levels.

William “Bill” Benoit, a professor of business at PSU, will receive the Distinguished Graduate Teaching Award for the Master of Business Administration Program. Benoit has served the PSU community for 25 years, sharing his expertise in project management, quantitative analysis, quality control and operations management with students, faculty and community members. During his time at PSU, Benoit has been a leader in the business department, serving as chair of the department and director of the MBA program.

This year also marks the retirement of President Donald P. Wharton, who presides over the graduate commencement ceremony. President Wharton has served the PSU campus for 13 years.

PSU’s College of Graduate Studies offers degree and certificate programs in a variety of disciplines, including education, business, arts, sciences and health care. Courses, institutes and other professional development opportunities are held at both the Plymouth campus and at off-campus locations throughout New Hampshire. For more information about the programs and courses offered by the College of Graduate Studies, please call (603) 535-2636 or visit

Plymouth State University (PSU) is a regional comprehensive university offering a rich, student-focused learning environment for both undergraduate and graduate students. PSU offers 42 majors and 62 minors in programs that include education, business, humanities, arts, and natural and social sciences. The College of Graduate Studies offers coursework that promotes research, best practices and reflection in locations on- and off-campus as well as online. For non-traditional students, PSU’s Frost School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers working professionals opportunities to pursue an undergraduate degree by attending classes in the evenings, weekends and online. Located in a beautiful New England setting, Plymouth State University has been recognized as one of the “Best in the Northeast” by The Princeton Review.