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Artist, politician honored at Shippensburg graduation

December 19, 2004|by BONNIE H. BRECHBILL

bonnieb@herald-mail.com

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. - A nationally known artist and a retired state representative received honorary doctoral degrees, and 400 students received bachelor's and master's degrees Saturday at Shippensburg University's winter graduation ceremony.

Shippensburg University President Anthony F. Ceddia conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Public Service, honoris causa, on artist P. Buckley Moss and Jeffrey W. Coy, a Shippensburg resident and commissioner of the Gaming Control Board.

In grade school, Moss was labeled by a teacher as "not proficient in anything, probably due to dyslexia," Ceddia said.

Moss, however, found creative outlets for her energy and graduated from New York's Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art. She had her first major one-person art show in 1967, and has been a success ever since. Her paintings incorporate rural themes and Amish and Mennonite motifs.

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Moss is almost as well-known for her work with special education groups and generosity to child-related charities, Ceddia said.

"In 1995, the P. Buckley Moss Foundation for Children's Education was established to help children who learn differently to succeed in school, and subsequently in life, through the use of the visual and performing arts," Ceddia said.

"Alumnus Jeffrey W. Coy epitomizes the spirit of service both professionally and personally," Ceddia said. "Throughout his 11 terms as state representative for the 89th district in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, he served his constituents and all residents of the commonwealth through various legislative programs and initiatives, none more important than his support of education."

Coy sponsored legislation for quality preschool education, smaller class sizes in early grades, full-day kindergarten and safer schools. He served on the university's Council of Trustees from 1975 to 1982, during which time he nominated Ceddia for the president's job.

Looking back to his undergraduate days, Coy said, "The faculty is the cornerstone of this and every other university. They were great then, and they are greater now. They have my unending support and admiration.

"As I think back on my distinguished undergraduate career - and I have my tongue firmly planted in my cheek - the degree I received in 1973 is the honorary one. This is the one I worked for."

After the conferring of degrees, Ceddia told the graduates that their "hearts and heads need to always be connected. Your intellectual skills will serve you well. But what is also needed is a caring, loving heart, and a soul - integrity, truth and trust."

Sean Kyle of Shippensburg graduated with a degree in criminal justice and is preparing for a career with local law enforcement and the FBI.

"It takes two years for an FBI application," Kyle said. "I'm taking a state police exam next month."

Kyle also plans to work toward a master's degree in administration of justice.

Receiving Outstanding Young Alumnus Awards were Joel A. Flinchbaugh, class of 1987; Dr. Jane E. Hershey, class of 1986; Tracy L. McCurdy, class of 1986; and John "J.R." Raebiger Jr., class of 1995.

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