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Three to Receive UW Honorary Degrees May 9

April 1, 2009
Two men and a woman
From top to bottom, Tracy Ringolsby, Mary Ellbogen Garland and Barry Douglas will receive honorary degrees May 9 from the University of Wyoming.

The University of Wyoming will confer its highest honor, an honorary degree, upon Barry Douglas, Mary Ellbogen Garland and Tracy Ringolsby during 2009 commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 9.

Annually, UW alumni, current or former trustees and faculty are eligible to nominate for honorary degrees individuals who make notable contributions to the health, education or general welfare of Wyoming citizens. Submissions are referred to a joint committee, headed by UW president Tom Buchanan, and nominees who receive votes from two-thirds of the committee are recommended for approval.

One of the most versatile and brilliant pianists of our time, the Irish-born Douglas will receive the Doctor of Music degree. He has performed seven times at UW since 1989, affording piano afficionados in this region with the rare opportunity to hear an artist who routinely plays at prominent urban venues for audiences paying up to $100 a ticket.

Over the years, Douglas has also performed in Casper, Cheyenne, Gillette, Pinedale, Powell, Riverton and Rock Springs.

In a nomination letter, Timothy A. Schoessler, a music program pianist at Northwest College in Powell, wrote, "His dedication to his craft and his willingness to frequently perform in a place where the ticket prices are lower, the audiences are smaller and the weather sometimes makes travel interesting speaks volumes about him as a person and an artist."

Ellbogen Garland, who graduated from UW in 1984 with a bachelor's degree in marketing, will receive the Doctor of Laws degree. A lifelong resident of Wyoming, Garland has worked tirelessly over the years to support the children, teachers and families of the Cowboy State through her work with various community, statewide and national programs.

"I cannot think of a person more deserving of an honorary doctorate in education than Mary L. Ellbogen Garland," wrote Kay A. Persichitte, dean of the UW College of Education, in a nomination letter.

Ringolsby, a native of Cheyenne who in 2005 was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, is one of the most recognizable sportswriters in the United States. He will receive the Doctor of Letters degree.

"The Cowboy from Wyoming," as he is known in press boxes and broadcast booths across the country, Ringolsby is one of the leading ambassadors, not only for the University of Wyoming but also our great state," writes Cheyenne attorney John B. "Jack" Speight in a letter of nomination.

Following the closure earlier this year of the Rocky Mountain News, where he had worked as a columnist and national baseball writer since 1992, Ringolsby and two colleagues launched a Web site ( devoted to coverage of the Colorado Rockies. He also works for Fox Sports Rocky Mountain during Rockies' pre- and post-game shows.

Posted on Wednesday, April 01, 2009

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