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Press Release: DeSales University Holds Spring Commencement Saturday, May 17
Date: 5/14/2003


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DeSales University Holds Spring Commencement Saturday, May 17
Actress Hunter Tylo Urges 391 Graduates To "Live on the Edge"

Center Valley, Pa., -- (May 19, 2003) -- DeSales University held its 35th Commencement exercises on Saturday, May 17, in Billera Hall. During the ceremony, Father Bernard O'Connor, OSFS, president, conferred degrees upon 391 graduates, including 321 bachelor's and 70 master's. Actress Hunter Tylo gave the Commencement address.

Tylo received an honorary doctor of fine arts degree. Also, Christopher Chapman, M.D., founder of the Catholic Medical Foundation, received an honorary doctor of science degree, and Robert J. Kopecek, president of Northampton Community College, received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

In her address, Tylo encouraged graduates to "live on the edge." In addition to the importance of family, she stressed the need for on-going learning as part of life and "to let God be the final say" on essential decisions.

"Risk ridicule and financial gain to stand up for what you believe in and for the rights of others," said Tylo, who is an advocate for working mothers and spokeswoman against childhood blindness and eye diseases.

Hunter Tylo, a native of Texas, enjoyed a two-year run as Robin McCall on ABC's popular soap opera, All My Children. She appeared briefly on NBC's Days of Our Lives, before joining the cast of CBS's The Bold and the Beautiful, where for 11 years she played psychiatrist Taylor Hamilton Hayes Forrester, a fan favorite. In 1996, Tylo left The Bold and the Beautiful to join the cast of Melrose Place. Prior to the shooting, she was fired from the show for being pregnant. Tylo sued the producers for wrongful termination and won a judgment of nearly $5 million. It has been cited as a landmark case for all working mothers. Tylo and her husband, actor Michael Tylo, established the charity foundation, Hunter's Chosen Child, to help mothers being discriminated in the workplace and to help unwed teens. In addition, it provides aid to mother and/or fathers of newborns. Tylo also introduced the idea of granting scholarships for daycare to help mothers get back to school or work.

Hunter and Michael Tylo have four children. In 1998, their daughter, Katya Ariel, was born and diagnosed with retinoblastoma, a deadly form of eye cancer. She underwent chemotherapy and is now cancer-free. The devastating experience motivated the Tylos to establish Retinoblastoma International. Tylo considers the passing of the AB 2185 bill in California her crowning achievement. The bill ensures that babies get their eyes checked as part of the routine six-week health exam for infants.

Tylo has made numerous television appearances including Diagnosis Murder, The Nanny and Baywatch. She has done over 50 national and international commercials for products, such as Canada Dry, CoverGirl and Pantene, and was on People magazine's list of "50 Most Beautiful People in the World" twice. Also an entrepreneur, Tylo created her own cosmetics line, Chosen By Hunter.

Robert J. Kopecek has served as president of Northampton Community College since 1977. He will be retiring at the end of this academic year. Under his leadership, total enrollment nearly tripled, the budget grew from $7 million to $42 million and about 25 new majors were added to the academic program. The College forged unique collaborations in areas of business and technology. Also, the Bethlehem Township campus expanded to include several new buildings, such as the student enrollment center, three instructional buildings, the student-operated restaurant, Hampton Winds, and the Gates Center, which houses Eugene Hartzell Technology Hall, County and Alumni Halls. Also a number of off-site facilities were established including the Monroe Campus in Tannersville, the Bethlehem Center in downtown Bethlehem, and a site in Lehigh Valley Industrial Park.

Active in the community, Kopecek serves on the boards of Two Rivers Health & Wellness Foundation, Bethlehem Area Chamber of Commerce, Ben Franklin Technology Lehigh Valley Region Advisory, Lehigh Valley Industrial Park, among others. He also is deeply committed to economic development and has served as chairman of the Northampton County Development Corporation and vice-chairman of the Northampton County Industrial Development Authority. He served as chairman of the Pennyslvania Association of College and Universities and president of the Pennsylvania Commission for Community Colleges. Currently, he is on many health related and educational boards and the Northampton Community College Foundation.

Kopecek earned a doctorate in educational administration, higher education, and both master's and bachelor's of arts degrees in history from the State University of New York at Albany.

Christopher Chapman, M.D., an expert in general radiology with specialized training in nuclear medicine and MRI, founded the Catholic Medical Foundation in 1994, to provide medical supplies and hope for those in need.

Following major cardiac surgery, Dr. Chapman and his wife, Judy, a registered nurse, decided to take a pilgrimage to Medjugorje, a holy place in war-torn Yugoslavia, and give thanks for his overcoming serious health problems. What they saw changed their lives. They saw people dying everywhere for lack of simple basic needs such as clean water, basic medical supplies and simple medical care.

Dr. Chapman also established renal dialysis units, birthing centers, emergency treatment centers, an open-heart surgical center, DNA-analysis group, and a pediatric leukemia program. Currently, he is finishing construction of the first Catholic hospital in Bosnia, St. Vincent's, located in Sarajevo. He and his wife have brought numerous children to the United States and have offered them refuge in their own home, while they receive treatment only available in this country.

In addition to Bosnia, the Foundation has provided aid to the Philippines, Bolivia, Russia, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan and India. It sponsored a transplant team from St. Christopher's in Philadelphia to provide the first living-donor pediatric liver transplants in India.

Dr. Chapman has raised and provided an estimated $70 million worth of aid. His work has been documented in a variety of articles, stories and films. Recognition for his efforts include multiple grants awarded from the Papal Foundation, Family Circle Magazine's "Real-Life Santa or People Who Make a Difference," The Morning Call Spirit Award (1999), Commendation from the International Congress of Forensic Science for the Catholic Medical Foundation's support of DNA identification of war crimes victims (2001) and the Pennsylvania Medical Society Physician Award for International Voluntary Service (2002).

A native of Plattsburgh, New York, Dr. Chapman earned his medical degree from the State University of New York in Syracuse and his bachelor's degree the State University of New York at Plattsburgh. He and Judy reside in Bethlehem and are the parents of three sons.
 


Press Release: DeSales University Holds Spring Commencement Saturday, May 17 | Posted on: 5/14/2003

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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