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May 16: Students to graduate at Hood's Commencement

FREDERICK, Md.— The mayor of Frederick and a nationally renowned expert on microbiology and immunology will be the Hood College commencement speakers May 16.

Mayor Randy McClement will give the commencement address at the 10 a.m. undergraduate ceremony at which more than 350 graduates will receive bachelor’s degrees. McClement will receive an honorary doctoral degree from Hood during the ceremony.

McClement has served on a number of boards and commissions that have given him a breadth of knowledge about the city of Frederick. In addition to being a member of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce for 12 years, he is a past president of the Tourism Council of Frederick County, where he was a board member for 13 years; a co-founder of the Frederick Alliance; a past vice president of Celebrate Frederick; a past president of the Frederick Chapter of the Maryland Municipal League; a past vice president of the Maryland Mayors Association; and a past president of the Maryland Mayors Association.

The speaker for the afternoon’s graduate commencement ceremony will be Thomas W. Geisbert, a professor in the department of microbiology and immunology at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and the Galveston National Laboratory. Geisbert, who earned a doctorate in molecular pathobiology from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Science in Bethesda, Md., will receive an honorary doctorate at the graduate ceremony. More than 240 graduates will receive master’s degrees at that ceremony, which begins at 3 p.m.

One of the Ebola fighters named collectively as Time magazine’s person of the year in 2014, Geisbert is known for helping discover the reston species of Ebola virus in 1989. This work was the subject of many articles in scientific literature and in the popular press as well as Richard Preston’s best-selling novel "The Hot Zone." Geisbert is the recipient of two U.S. Department of the Army commander’s awards for civilian service; one for his work to identify the Ebola-Reston virus and the second for his support of Operation Noble Eagle.

Since 1893, nearly 21,000 women and men from all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and 52 foreign countries have earned degrees at Hood. This year’s commencement will be Hood’s 118th.