Virginia Tech professors, Diane L. Zahm and Peter Eyre, will be the keynote speakers at Virginia Tech's 2004 Fall Commencement Ceremonies.

Commencement for undergraduate students will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17, in Cassell Coliseum on Virginia Tech's campus. The Graduate School processional ceremony will follow from 3 to 5 p.m. also in Cassell.

University Commencement Speaker: Diane L. Zahm

Zahm, of Blacksburg, associate professor of Urban Affairs and Planning in the College of Architecture and Urban Studies at Virginia Tech, will be the keynote speaker at the fall 2004 Undergraduate Commencement ceremony. Peter Eyre, former dean of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) and professor in the department of biomedical sciences and pathobiology, will be the keynote speaker for the fall 2004 Graduate School Commencement ceremony.

Zahm's experiences include conducting crime prevention through environmental design training for a variety of communities and organizations; providing technical assistance and consulting services to several architectural firms; and publishing, "Designing Safer Communities: A Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design Handbook." The Urban Land Institute recently published her paper, "Why Protecting the Public Health, Safety and General Welfare Won't Protect Us From Crime".

Zahm, born in Buffalo, N.Y., and graduating from high school in Rochester, N.Y., was the 1993 recipient of the G. Paul Sylvestre Award, given by the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Statistics, for outstanding achievement in advancing criminal justice statistics. In 2004, she was selected to give the Robert DeVoursney Lecture on Crime and Violence Prevention at the University of Virginia Department of Urban and Environmental Planning. She also was the recipient of the College of Architecture and Urban Studies Excellence in Teaching Award in 1999 and selected to give the annual Richmond Area Development Archives Lecture for the Virginia Commonwealth University Department of Urban Studies and Planning in 1995.

Zahm holds a bachelor's degree in environmental resource management from Allegheny College, a master's in planning from the University of Virginia, and a Ph.D. in land use planning from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse.

Graduate Commencement Speaker: Peter Eyre

Eyre has been an academic leader and mission-builder at Virginia Tech and throughout the commonwealth for nearly 20 years. He served as the former dean of the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine (VMRCVM) for more than 18 years, where he took on curricular reform and established academic excellence in the 1980s, aided in the development of its clinical service programs in the 1990s, and greatly expanded its research, master's and Ph.D. programs. Today, the college is a $30 million enterprise.

Eyre also served as a professor in the department of biomedical sciences and pathobiology and has initiated many outreach partnerships with the natural sciences program at Virginia Tech. He continues to assist the college in advancing its strategic initiatives, such as developing a formal relationship in public health with the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore. In addition, the college has established the Center for Comparative Oncology, which serves as a unifying resource for the 40 Virginia Tech professors engaged in cancer research.

Eyre has received many prestigious honors including being the recipient of the Norden Award for Distinguished Teaching, the Sigma Psi Award for Excellence in Research and the John N. Dalton award for distinguished service. The 2004 Virginia General Assembly issued a formal resolution of commendation to Eyre for his exemplary service to the commonwealth.

Eyre also presided over the creation of the College Park, Md., based Center for Public and Corporate Veterinary Medicine, and is credited with building strong working relationships with organized veterinary medical associations, as well as guiding the development of the Marion duPont Scott Equine Medical Center in Leesburg, Va. He served for several years on the Board of Directors of the Association of American Veterinary Colleges, serving as its president in 2003. He has worked on the American Veterinary Medical Association's Council on Government Relations and the Board of the American Academy of Veterinary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, and has been honored for outstanding leadership by the Public Relations Society of America, the Virginia Veterinary Medical Association and the Maryland Veterinary Medical Association.

Eyre is the recipient of more than $1.3 million in research sponsorship and is the author of 205 refereed journal articles and 31 book chapters and monographs. He has personally advised 34 master's and Ph.D. students.

Eyre graduated from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and holds a B.V.M.S. degree and M.R.C.V.S. diploma in veterinary medicine, and a bachelor's and Ph.D. degrees in pharmacology.

Dedicated to its motto, Ut Prosim (That I May Serve), Virginia Tech takes a hands-on, engaging approach to education, preparing scholars to be leaders in their fields and communities. As the commonwealth’s most comprehensive university and its leading research institution, Virginia Tech offers 240 undergraduate and graduate degree programs to more than 31,000 students and manages a research portfolio of $513 million. The university fulfills its land-grant mission of transforming knowledge to practice through technological leadership and by fueling economic growth and job creation locally, regionally, and across Virginia.

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