West Virginia Wesleyan College will host its 128th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 4. In addition to the nearly 250 graduates that will participate in the event, Wesleyan will also honor three candidates with Honorary Degrees. Those candidates are Dr. Deborah Trautman ’80, William B. Grant ’75, and Roger Humphries.
Deborah Trautman, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the American Association of Colleges of Nursing (AACN). She has served in this capacity since June, 2014. Formerly the Executive Director of the Center for Health Policy and Healthcare Transformation at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Dr. Trautman has held clinical and administrative leadership positions at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center and Johns Hopkins Medical. She also served as the Vice President for Patient Care Services for Howard County Central Hospital and as Director of Nursing for Emergency Medicine at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. She has held a joint appointment at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing.
Since her appointment at AACN, Dr. Trautman has been asked to join a number of high-profile boards and advisory group including: The Secretary of U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ Special Medical Advisory Group (SMAG), which advises the VA Secretary on matters related to healthcare delivery, research, education, training of healthcare staff and planning on shared care issues facing VA and the Department of Defense. In addition, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) named her program director of the New Careers in Nursing project and her colleagues with the Interprofessional Education Collaborative (IPEC) elected her to serve as the group’s treasurer/secretary in 2015. She also serves on the National Academies of Science Global Forum, Envisioning the Future of Health Professional Education.
Dr. Trautman has served as an advisory board member and past chair for Academy Health’s Interdisciplinary Research Interest Group on Nursing Issues. She was a 2007-2008 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow and worked for the Honorable Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives.
She received a BSN from Wesleyan, an MSN from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD in health policy from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She has authored publications on health policy, intimate partner violence, pain management, clinical competency, change management, cardiopulmonary bypass, the use of music in the emergency department, and consolidating emergency services.
William B. Grant has served Wesleyan as both a trustee and an alumni-admission volunteer. He has helped identify and recruit students to the College from Garrett County, MD for over 30 years and has served as a trustee since 2006. He will retire from the Board at the end of this fiscal year. During the past several years, he has been the secretary of the Board of Trustees. As an admission volunteer, Bill has made numerous trips to Buckhannon bringing prospective students to campus. He also treats Garrett County students to dinner when he is on campus.
Grant retired as the Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of First United Bank & Trust in Oakland, MD. A member of the West Virginia Bankers Association, he was elected to the board of directors of the American Bankers Association, which serves as the Voice for the nation’s $13 trillion banking industry and its 2 million employees.
Grant has also served as the vice chair of the Leadership Maryland Board of Directors, chairman of the Board for the Grant Memorial Hospital Foundation, past chair of the American Bankers Association Community Bankers Council, and a past member of the University System of Maryland Foundation Board. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Baltimore branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond since 2007.
In 2017, he was the recipient of the Community Trust Foundation of Cumberland, MD’s Humanitarian Leadership Award. He was honored for his service to many local organizations including the Maryland Regulatory Reform Commission, past chair of The Greater Cumberland Committee, vice president of the Southern Garrett High School alumni association, president of the Garrett Choral Society, and president of the Southern Garrett High School Improvement Team. He also has been a volunteer with the Garrett Mentors Program for the past 11 years and at HART for Animals.
Grant has also received numerous awards including TGCC’s Greater Good Award, Maryland Bankers Association and Council of Professional Women in Banking and Finance Champion of Women Award, and the Greater County Chamber of Commerce Golden Ambassador Award.
Grant is a 1975 graduate of West Virginia Wesleyan College and the Duquesne University School of Law, where he received his Juris Doctor.
Roger Humphries, a native of Pittsburgh, rose to national prominence because of his work with jazz legend Horace Silver and others in the mid 1960s. He recorded with Silver on three of his most famous recordings, Jody Grind, Cape Verdean Blues, and Song for my Father. He has since worked with countless jazz luminaries and is an internationally acclaimed artist in his own right.
Returning to Pittsburgh’s North Side neighborhood to raise his family, Roger quickly became active in philanthropy and community engagement. His annual “Boat Ride” jazz cruise aboard Pittsburgh’s Gateway Clipper has raised funds for various initiatives. Born out of a desire to support the North Side Spartans Athletic Association in order to fund a football and baseball program in the absence of public funds to support it, the “Boat Ride” grew throughout the course of the late 70s early 80s. While it started by raising only a few hundred dollars here and there, its reach has evolved considerably, and a myriad of neighborhood projects were funded, including purchasing instruments for children who could not afford quality gear and materials. Recognizing that many of his students needed assistance in order to gain access to college attendance, Humphries made the decision to turn the event’s resources towards creating a scholarship, which has even extended to students attending West Virginia Wesleyan College.
For nearly six decades, Roger Humphries has mentored, taught, and shaped generations of jazz musicians in and around Pittsburgh, including multiple students from West Virginia Wesleyan College. He was the first, and longest serving, percussion instructor at Pittsburgh’s Creative and Performing Arts high school (CAPA), and his students have gone on to achieve national and international acclaim in jazz and commercial idioms.
Humphries’ dedication to education can be seen outside of the classroom as well. He has maintained a regular jam session, with his band serving as the core of this experience, for over thirty years. For most of these three decades, the session happened weekly, and Roger has always opened his stage to young students of the music.
For more information about Commencement.