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Livestock Industry Pioneer and Autism Education Advocate Temple Grandin to Speak at May 23 Wilson College Commencement

Posted: May 3, 2010

5/3/2010 Dr. Temple Grandin, author, speaker and professor whose pioneering work in animal handling revolutionized the livestock industry worldwide, will address the graduating class at Wilson College’s 140th commencement ceremony, to be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 23.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
DATE: May 3, 2010
CONTACT: Cathy Mentzer, Manager of Media Relations
Phone: 717-264-4141, Ext. 3178
Email: cathy.mentzer@wilson.edu


CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. – Dr. Temple Grandin, author, speaker and professor whose pioneering work in animal handling revolutionized the livestock industry worldwide, will address the graduating class at Wilson College’s 140th commencement ceremony, to be held at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 23.

Grandin, a high-functioning autistic, also is widely known for her advocacy work for autism education. She is a noted author and lecturer who also is known for inventing the squeeze or hug machine, a deep-pressure device designed to calm hypersensitive people – usually individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Her remarkable life is the subject of the recently released HBO film, “Temple Grandin,” starring Claire Danes in the title role.

The topic of Grandin’s address to Wilson graduates is, “How Mentoring by My Science Teacher Helped Me to Achieve.”

“We are very proud to have Dr. Grandin as this year’s commencement speaker and we look forward to awarding her an honorary doctorate,” said Dr. Lorna Duphiney Edmundson, Wilson president. “Hers is an inspiring story, one which testifies to the powerful impact that high aspirations, strong academic support and access to a high-quality education had on her life – just as they have on the students who graduate from Wilson College."

Grandin, of Fort Collins, Colo., is a professor of animal science at Colorado State University, where she teaches courses in livestock behavior and facility design. She has a master’s degree in animal science from Arizona State University and a doctorate in animal science from the University of Illinois. Her bachelor’s degree is from Franklin Pierce College.

Grandin has done extensive work on the design of humane livestock handling facilities. Half the cattle in the United States and Canada are handled in equipment she designed for meat plants. Other professional activities include developing animal welfare guidelines for the meat industry and consulting with McDonalds, Wendy’s International, Burger King and other companies on animal welfare.

Grandin has published several hundred industry publications, book chapters and technical papers on animal handling, in addition to seven books. Her book, “Animals in Translation,” was a New York Times bestseller. She has received numerous livestock industry awards and been recognized by organizations for the humane treatment of animals.

Grandin is a past member of the board of directors of the Autism Society of America. She lectures to parents and teachers throughout the U.S. on her experiences with autism. Articles and interviews have appeared in the New York Times, People, Time, National Public Radio, “20/20,” “The View” and the BBC.

Approximately 88 students will receive bachelor’s and associate degrees during Wilson’s commencement ceremony, which will begin at 1:30 p.m. on the college’s main green. (In case of rain, the ceremony will be held at Laird Hall.) In addition, six graduates of Wilson’s Master of Education program will receive their degrees and another 64 certificates will be granted to college graduates who are completing the teacher intern program at Wilson.

During the commencement ceremony, Pamelia Hayes-Houldin also will receive an honorary doctor of science degree. Hayes-Houldin, whose mother was a Wilson College graduate, is the owner of Horsepower Farm and provides horsemanship workshops on the Wilson campus.

A baccalaureate service will be held at 10 a.m. in Alumnae Chapel at Thomson Hall.

For more information, contact Wilson College Manager of Media Relations Cathy Mentzer at 717-264-4141, Ext. 3178, or cathy.mentzer@wilson.edu.

Founded in 1869, Wilson College is a liberal arts college dedicated to the education of women. Affiliated with the Presbyterian Church and located in Chambersburg, Pa. Wilson offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 areas and a master’s degree in education. The college’s 2009-10 enrollment in both the College for Women and the Adult Degree Programs is 838 and includes students from 20 states and 18 foreign countries. Wilson is committed to environmental sustainability and to preparing leaders who will serve their communities and professions effectively.

Last Updated: June 30, 2011