Famed Author to Speak at SUNY Oswego’s December Commencement

OSWEGO — SUNY Oswego’s December commencement ceremony Saturday, Dec. 17, will feature an address by Bruce Coville, a best-selling author of books for children and young adults as well as an alumnus of Oswego.

The 10 a.m. ceremony in the Campus Center arena and convocation hall will be simulcast locally on Time Warner Cable and streamed live via the college website, oswego.edu. Admission to the graduation ceremony is by ticket, with tickets available from the candidates for graduation.

About 550 degree candidates are eligible to participate. They will be recognized along with two faculty members who were honored by the State University system earlier this year.

International bestseller

Coville is the author of nearly a hundred books, including the international bestseller “My Teacher Is an Alien” and the popular “Unicorn Chronicles” series. His works of science fiction, fantasy, adventure and magic have appeared in more than a dozen languages and have sparked the imaginations of millions of children.

“We were both honored and elated that Bruce Coville accepted our invitation to speak at December commencement,” said Howard Gordon, executive assistant to SUNY Oswego President Deborah F. Stanley.

Gordon convenes the Campus Convocation Speakers Committee, which is made up of faculty, staff, administrators and at least one student. “The committee placed Bruce Coville on the top of its list of prospective December 2011 graduation speakers. Coville’s reputation as world-class author made his selection easy,” Gordon said.

Originally from nearby Phoenix, Coville received his bachelor’s degree in elementary education from SUNY Oswego in 1973, Gordon noted.

Coville aspired to be a writer from his youth, and he has credited one of his professors at Oswego, the late Helen Buckley Simkiewicz, for encouraging him. He taught school for seven years before he opted to pursue writing full time in 1981.

In addition to his writing, he is the founder of the audiobook publishing company Full Cast Audio. He has produced more than a hundred audiobooks for family listening and has directed or performed in most of them.

Along with his many literary awards, the Oswego Alumni Association honored Coville with a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1998, and the State University of New York system awarded him an honorary doctor of letters degree in 2003.

Chancellor’s Award winners

SUNY announced Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence honors for two Oswego faculty members last spring, and the college will formally recognize them at the December graduation ceremony along with the semester’s degree candidates.

Dr. Martha Bruch of the chemistry faculty received the award for outstanding teaching. Dr. Lawrence Spizman of the economics faculty was honored for his distinguished record of research and scholarship in forensic economics.

The Chancellor’s Awards for Excellence are system-level honors conferred to acknowledge superior professional achievement and to encourage the ongoing pursuit of excellence.