BANGOR, Maine — Husson University chalked up a first in its history Saturday, when it recognized four students as valedictorians during its 118th annual commencement exercises Saturday at the Cross Insurance Center.

All four valedictorians — three of whom are from Maine — completed their degrees with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, Husson spokesman Eric Gordon said in a news release.

They are: Marcus Campito of Menands, New York, who earned a bachelor’s in communications technology with a concentration in audio engineering; Miranda Charloux of Hermon and Dylan Wetmore of Madawaska, each of whom received a bachelor’s in accounting and a master of business administration; and Nicole Sparlin of Milford, who earned a bachelor’s in entertainment production.

Abby Logan Stevens of Fort Kent was the Class of 2017’s salutatorian. She earned a bachelor’s in healthcare studies while maintaining a grade point average of 3.982.

In all, Husson awarded 809 degrees from its Business, College of Health and Education, College of Science and Humanities, New England School of Communications and School of Pharmacy programs on Saturday. Of those, 26 were associate of science degrees, 510 were bachelor of science degrees, 185 were master’s degrees and another 88 were doctoral degrees.

The university also awarded honorary doctoral degrees to three business leaders — including Bangor native Galen Cole — who have distinguished themselves in the manufacturing, transportation and communications industries. All of their companies were founded as family-owned businesses.

A former president of Cole Express and a veteran of World War II, Cole perhaps is best known for having founded the Cole Land Transportation Museum and work as a philanthropist.

Since 1990, the Cole Family Foundation’s museum has provided over 475,000 visitors with a glimpse into the history of Maine’s land-transportation equipment evolution. The museum also has provided Maine-made walking sticks to more than 10,000 military veterans in the state.

Cole’s other charitable work includes a variety of volunteer leadership positions, including terms as president of the Maine Truck Owner’s Association, the Bangor YMCA, the Bangor Region and Maine chambers of commerce, Associated Industries of Maine, and the Bangor City Council. He currently is Bangor’s oldest living former mayor.

Also receiving an honorary doctorate was James F. Dicke II, who delivered this year’s commencement address. He is chairman and chief executive officer of Crown Equipment Corp. The distribution and service company has more than 14,000 employees in the United States, Germany, Australia, China and Singapore who operate a network of more than 500 retail locations.
Dicke also is an artist who studied painting under Warner Williams, noted bas-relief artist and amateur astronomer, and served as chairman of the board of commissioners of the Smithsonian American Art Museum and chair emeritus of the Dayton Art Institute in Ohio.

Dicke also was assistant to Congressman William M. McCullough, the author of the 1964 civil rights and 1965 voting rights acts.

In addition, Dicke is a member of the board of directors of the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans.

Husson alumnus George E. Wildey of New York founded the New England School of Broadcasting as a family-owned business in 1981. The one-year program started with 23 students and graduated its first class in 1982. The school moved onto the Husson campus in 1985 and since has changed its name to the
New England School of Communications, also known as NESCom.

The school was integrated formally into Husson University in 2014 and today offers three bachelor’s degrees covering nine concentrations.

Wildey was inducted into the Maine Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 1993 and was named Broadcaster of the Year during that same year.