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Press Release: DeSales to Hold Mid-Year Commencement, Sunday, January 23
Date: 1/20/2005

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DeSales to Hold Mid-Year Commencement, Sunday, January 23

DeSales University will hold its mid-year commencement at 3 p.m., Sunday, January 23, in Billera Hall on the Center Valley campus. During the ceremony, Father Bernard O'Connor, OSFS, University President, will confer degrees upon 265 graduating students, including 120 bachelor's and 145 master's. (PLEASE NOTE: In case of inclement weather, call 610-282-1100 or go to the DeSales University Web site at www.desales.edu for information.)

Michael J. Gausling, co-founder and former CEO of OraSure Technologies, Inc., will deliver the Commencement address, which will include a visual presentation. In his speech to DeSales' newest graduates, Gausling will stress the importance of setting objectives and the need to define your personal mission.

"Graduates should feel the sky's the limit," says Gausling. "But they need to establish goals and define their mission because the reality is that it takes a lot of hard work."

Gausling came to the Lehigh Valley in 1987, when he co-founded SolarCare Technologies Corp., or STC. He served as chairman, president and CEO of STC until 2000, when it merged with Epitope, Inc., to form OraSure. Orasure, the market leader in oral fluid diagnostics, is known for creating OraQuick, the first rapid HIV test approved for use in the country. Gausling served as president and COO of OraSure in 2000, then president and CEO until 2004, when he retired. Prior to STC, he was a senior financial analyst with Procter & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio.

Raised in Middletown, Ohio, Gausling earned a bachelor's degree from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, New York, and an MBA from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. Currently, he serves on the boards of Keystone National Bank & Trust, Lehigh Valley Industrial Park and DeSales University. He and his wife, Sharon, have a son, Andrei, and reside in Bethlehem

Other highlights at this year's winter graduation include:

  • The 2005 ACCESS Award
    Myra I. Stoudt, of Coopersburg, Pa., will receive the ACCESS Award. The ACCESS Program at DeSales is the region's premier program in adult education. The ACCESS Award is given to a senior with a G.P.A. of 3.75 or higher, with a winning essay about his experience at DeSales, including the ACCESS Program, the faculty, and any other relevant information. Stoudt decided to go to college and pursue a bachelor's degree in elementary education, after spending the last 20 years caring for her family. She plans to be a classroom teacher.
  • The DeSales Medal
    William J. Straccia Jr., of Allentown, Pa., will receive the DeSales Medal, the highest nonacademic award DeSales University can confer. The award is given for outstanding contributions to the development of the university through personal service, as well as financial support. Recipients are well respected in the community at large and have been distinguished for the witness they give to the ideals most highly prized by St. Francis de Sales. The DeSales Medal is conferred no more than once a year and only if there is a suitable candidate. Straccia is the former president and chairman of the board of Electro-Space Fabricators in Topton, Pa., a company he founded in 1962. He retired in 1997. Straccia is on the board of Sacred Heart Hospital. He served on the board of trustees at DeSales and on the parish council of St. Thomas Moore Church. He holds two patents for printed circuit card holders in electronics. Straccia earned a bachelor's degree in business administration from Moravian College. He has four children and 14 grandchildren.

    Of the 265 graduating students, the majority (237) are from Pennsylvania. The remaining students are from 10 other states and one foreign country.

Press Release: DeSales to Hold Mid-Year Commencement, Sunday, January 23 | Posted on: 1/20/2005

For more info:
Tom McNamara, Executive D
irector of Communications
DeSales University | 2255 Station Avenue | Center Valley, PA 18034

610.282.1100 x1219 | Tom.McNamara@desales.edu

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