Meet the Newest Falcon Alumni

Meet the Newest Falcon Alumni
Amy Pellegrin

About 250 students participated in Winter Commencement on Saturday, Dec. 15, in the Feaster Center. A reception in the Falcon Center immediately followed the ceremony.

“As a graduate of Fairmont State myself, I know firsthand the life-changing power of a higher education degree. Our graduates are equipped to enter the workforce as highly-qualified and well-prepared employees,” said FSU President Maria Rose. “Of course, Winter Commencement is an exciting time for our graduates and their families, but it is also an important day in the lives of our faculty and staff, who take pride in watching students walk across the stage during the ceremony.”

David K. Hendrickson, Chairman of the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission, served as the Winter Commencement speaker. Chelse L. Hensley of Charleston was the student speaker representing the Class of 2012.

David K. Hendrickson, Esq., began his service on the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission in late 2006. During his tenure on the Commission, Hendrickson has engaged in and promoted all facets of higher education in order to provide greater opportunities to current and future students and, ultimately, the State of West Virginia. He served as the Commission’s Vice Chairman for two years and as the Commission’s Chairman for the past four years. 

Nationally, Hendrickson has represented West Virginia and the state’s higher education system as a member of the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges (AGB) Council of Board Chairs. The national group meets annually to advise and counsel AGB officials regarding programs, services and public policy issues for 36,000 individual members representing trustees and regents; presidents and chancellors; public university and college foundation CEOs; and senior-level administrators.

As a leader of the state’s higher education system and a resident of the Kanawha Valley, Hendrickson served as a driving force in the state’s acceptance and ownership of the West Virginia Regional Technology Park, formerly the South Charleston Technology Park, from The Dow Chemical Company. He currently serves as a member of the West Virginia Regional Technology Park Corporation Board of Directors.

Most recently, Hendrickson served as Chairman of the Chancellor Search Committee and Chairman of the West Virginia University Institute of Technology Revitalization Committee. Previously, he served in a variety of other roles including, but not limited to: a member of the Adult Learner Task Force; a member of the PROMISE Scholarship Board of Control; and a member of the West Virginia College Completion Task Force.

Hendrickson is the Founding Managing Partner of Hendrickson and Long, P.L.L.C. He is an inductee into the International Academy of Trial Lawyers. He has also been recognized by several national publications including Chambers, USA, Best Lawyers in America, and Litigation Magazine in the area of Corporate Litigation. He served as the legal correspondent to the Charleston, ABC affiliate, WCHS-TV and conducted a news segment titled “The Legal Pad.”

Hendrickson graduated from West Virginia University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, and Juris Doctorate from the West Virginia University College of Law in 1982.  While at West Virginia University, he served as the student body president and was the second ever student voting member on the West Virginia Board of Regents. He is a past national president of the West Virginia University Alumni Association and was named Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, 2004.

Hendrickson is a veteran, leaving active duty after completing a four-year tour of service as a Captain in the United States Army. He currently serves on the boards of several charitable, civic and social organizations.

Chelse L. Hensley has been selected as the Senior Class Representative. A graduate of South Charleston High School, Hensley is the daughter of Rick and Melinda Hensley of Charleston. She graduated from Fairmont State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science.

A Journalism minor, Hensley has written for the student newspaper, The Columns, and also has written blogs for The Huffington Post. During her time at Fairmont State, she has been an active member of Delta Zeta Sorority and a member of the Pi Sigma Alpha honor society for political science.

During the fall of 2011 as part of an internship with Seventeen Magazine, Hensley lived and worked in New York City, where she wrote for Seventeen.com, networked with writers and editors, and brainstormed for editorial pieces, among other opportunities. Her hobbies include writing, attending food-and-wine tastings, and playing golf with her father. Hensley currently is interviewing for positions with MTV.com, Alloy Media and “O, The Oprah Magazine.”

During the morning reception, Commencement Speaker David K. Hendrickson, Esq. accepts a handmade vase as a token of appreciation. The vase is made by FSU faculty member Jeff Greenham.
Student Government President, Jess Nardo, carries the FSU gonfalon.
FSU Faculty
FSU Faculty
Board of Governors Chairman, Ron Tucker
Commencement speaker David K. Hendrickson, Esq.
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Christina Lavorata
Dean Richard Harvey robes a graduate of the School of Business.
With the acceptance of the diploma FSU students begin their journey as Falcon alumni.

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