Carol A. Tebbs, M.A.
Kepler board, faculty, families and friends,
Welcome to this milestone event, the first commencement of Bachelor and Associate of Arts degree candidates from Kepler College.
Now that you have experienced some of Kepler College through our promotional DVD, you can see that our students span a wide range of ages, represent three continents, and many more nationalities, ethnicities and cultures. We have students from Japan to Mexico, from Canada to Sweden, and in the U S, from New York to California, from Florida to Washington and everywhere in between. Distance learning with a six-day symposium each term expands educational opportunity to everyone, especially to those living in remote locations or to others who balance education with work and family responsibilities.
No longer is college a rite of passage from adolescence to adulthood, but a vehicle for continuing education and life-long learning.
Kepler College has been on the leading edge of the distance-learning wave that is now sweeping more traditional college campuses. I can recall my astonishment a number of years ago when the U S Secretary of Education, Donna Shalala, spoke to an audience of teachers and administrators on preparing our students for the “real world” of tomorrow. She told us that because societal and technological change was occurring so rapidly, the jobs of tomorrow don’t even exist today. That was 12 years ago, and the statement is still true. The days of our fathers staying with one employer for fifty years, starting at the bottom and working up, are gone forever. Ms Shalala’s presentation to the National Education Association was truly prophetic. The computer had already made inroads in the home and the work place, which fostered a whole new wave of job descriptions that education couldn’t have imagined a generation earlier; and now the Internet boom has given life to telecommuting from a home work station and generated a quality of distance education never before possible. It is truly exciting for all of us at Kepler College to be pioneers on many levels, distance learning only one.
The Founding Board members, of Kepler College were extremely bold pioneers! They persevered through the many obstacles of state and federal education regulations, to apply for Bachelor and Master degree authorizations for programs with curriculum including comparative astrology. Though integrated with traditional subjects such as math, science, history and literature, such a proposal to include anything about astrology would have been heresy in earlier times.
Now, “with a little help from our friends” as the song goes, we honor not only the achievement of our graduates, but thank the many who helped us along the way. Those of you in the audience who are members or representatives of these supporting groups, please stand and be recognized as I call you.
These are the Visionaries who laid the academic foundation for Kepler College:
Founding Emeritus Board members – Maggie Nalbandian, Chair, Roxana Muise, Rick Levine – and sending their best wishes to the graduates, Gary Lorentzen and Joanne Wickenburg.
The sitting Kepler College Board – Nico March, Chair. Laura Gerking, Secretary. Shirley Huson, Treasurer. Mark Douglas, Development. Maya Durnovo, Financial Development. David Ockrassa, Web Development. Fran Rackow, Development. And Ken Turner, Development.
Past Presidents – Enid Newberg and Cathy Coleman.
The Faculty – Lee Lehman and Dennis Harness, Deans. Nicholas Campion, Demetra George, Georgia Stathis and Mark Urban-Lurain.
Guest lecturers and presenters at Kepler College – Jeff Jawer, Ken Turner, Komilla Sutton, and Dennis Flaherty.
I would like to recognize the many Astrological Organizations that have lent their support through scholarships, free or reduced cost conference fees, advertising and donations.
ACVA – American Council of Vedic Astrologers – Komilla Sutton, Dennis Flaherty, Dennis Harness
AFA – American Federation of Astrologers
AFAN – American Federation of Astrological Networkers – Jeff Jawer, Rick Levine, Tishelle Betterman, Demetra George
ISAR – International Society for Astrological Research – Dorothy Oja, Dennis Harness
NCGR – National Council for Geocosmic Research – Michael Munkasey
OAA – Oregon Astrological Association – Demetra George Dan Koperski
OPA – Organization of Professional Astrologers – Bob Mulligan
The Mountain Astrologer – Tem Tarriktar
WSAA – Washington State Astrological Association – Kris Shellman
On page 30-31 of your program, you will find a long list of donors that have been the backbone of our success. Thank you for having faith in the faculty and administration of Kepler College to bring your vision to reality.
Milestone Society Donor – The Marion and Nico March Family Foundation
Founders’ Circle Donors – Mark Douglas and Michael Munkasey
Pillar Society Donors – Lynn Bootes
Major Gift In Kind Donors – Mark Douglas, March Foundation
Cornerstone Society Donors–
Friends of Kepler College – All other donors
We celebrated Nick Campion’s PhD earlier this year, and regret that he is not here to share this occasion with us tonight. As well, Dr. Campion was recently named as head of the Sophia Center at Bath Spa University in England.
And Rob Hand rejoins the Kepler faculty after completing his Masters degree course work in Medieval History, the degree to be awarded later this month. He tells me that his PhD thesis has already been approved.
Now, I would like to introduce the Kepler Dean of Academics, Dr. Lee Lehman.