BENNINGTON -- Southern Vermont College has announced that it will be awarding two Honorary Degrees of Humane Letters at its commencement ceremony on May 10.

The first will go to Dr. Jane Altes, former SVC vice president for academic affairs and interim president of Empire State College in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. The second will go to Daniel B. Ginsberg, former assistant secretary of the Air Force (manpower and reserve affairs).

According to SVC president Karen Gross, the college’s goal is to honor leaders who have encouraged civic engagement through government service and their own community service work. "Education’s mission, above all else, is to develop thoughtful and engaged citizens in our democratic process," she said, "These two individuals are the embodiment of that mission, serving our nation with extraordinary talent, honor, and pride."

Altes currently works as a private consultant in higher education, and has served on the Middle States Commission on Higher Education and worked alongside the National Commission for a Nation of Lifelong Learners. She is currently a board member of the Arts Center of the Capital Region, in Troy, N.Y. and at WMHT, a multimedia public broadcaster. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Miami, her master’s in sociology from the University of Chicago, and her doctorate in public policy analysis and administration from St.


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Louis University.

Ginsberg was appointed assistant secretary of the Air Force for manpower and reserve affairs by President Barack Obama in 2009, and served in that capacity until he retired from the position in December 2013, according to his biography on the Air Force’s website. Ginsberg, a native of West Lafayette, Ind., has spent considerable time in Vermont, serving as the senior defense policy advisor to Senator Patrick Leahy. Ginsberg received his bachelor’s degree, in political science from the University of Michigan and his master’s, in strategic studies, from John Hopkins University.

Altes and Ginsberg will both be present at the commencement ceremony, and will address the graduating class.

Derek Carson can be reached for comment at dcarson@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @DerekCarsonBB