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Commencement Speakers Announced for William Woods

April 28, 2016

FULTON, MO – The American landscape is William Cather Hook's inspiration.  Large skies, low horizons, distant mountains and textured foregrounds are expressed in his paintings with broad brushstrokes of vivid color. The book, “Leading the West,” references him as one of the notable influences on the western art scene.

William Cather Hook at work

William Cather Hook at work

The renowned artist from Santa Fe, New Mexico, will be the commencement speaker at William Woods University May 7, addressing graduates and their families at 10 a.m. May 7. The ceremony follows the traditional Ivy Ceremony, which takes place at 9:15 a.m. at Senior Lake.

Marty Martin-Forman

Marty Martin-Forman

Marty Martin-Forman, recently retired chief operating officer of Fulton State Hospital and a past president of the Fulton Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitor's Center, will speak to graduate students during a 2 p.m. ceremony. Both ceremonies will be held in Cutlip Auditorium of the McNutt Campus Center.

A native of Kansas City, Hook attended classes at the Kansas City Art Institute and then earned a BFA cum laude at the University of New Mexico. He went on to complete his formal education at the Universita Per Straniere (Perugia, Italy) and the Art Center College of Design (Los Angeles, California).

William Cather Hook

William Cather Hook

A professional painter for almost 35 years, Hook has received numerous awards for his work, and his artwork is included in several permanent museum collections. When he is not painting plein air on the California Coast, in the Rocky Mountains or the desert Southwest, he paints out of his studios in Carmel, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Martin-Forman, the afternoon speaker, has 33 years of mental health experience, serving in administrative, supervisory and clinical capacities. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri with Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Social Work degree in child and family development and social work. She holds Academy of Certified Social Workers (ACSW) and Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) credentials.

Fulton State Hospital is the oldest public mental health facility west of the Mississippi, having admitted its first patients in 1851. Martin-Forman oversees daily operation of the 401-bed hospital, which employs more than 1,300 staff. Most recently, she has been in charge of the state-funded demolition of the old buildings and construction of a new facility.

A total of 836 degrees will be conferred during the day, of which 590 are graduate degrees.

Degrees earned include three Associate of Arts, 30 Bachelor of Arts, four Bachelor of Fine Arts, 197 Bachelor of Science, 12 Bachelor of Social Work, 117 Master of Business Administration (MBA), 374 Master of Education (M.Ed.), 81 Education Specialist (Ed.S.) and 18 Doctor of Education degrees.

Graduate students from cohorts in 26 Missouri communities will receive their diplomas: Blue Springs, Cape Girardeau, Caruthersville, Chesterfield, Chillicothe, Columbia, Dexter, El Dorado Springs, Festus, Fulton, Hannibal, Jefferson City, Kearney, Liberty, Marceline, Monett, Noel, Poplar Bluff, Raymore-Peculiar, Rolla, Sedalia, Sikeston, Springfield, St. Joseph, Troy and Union.

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