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Juniata College Commencement Features Pennsylvania\'s Top Arts Official

(Posted April 25, 2006)

Philip Horn, executive director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts.

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- Philip Horn, executive director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree and deliver the commencement address at Juniata College, at 2 p.m., Saturday, May 13 during Juniata's 128th commencement ceremony.

Horn's address will be the crowning event in a yearlong celebration of arts at the college. In the fall, the college debuted its new professional theatre company, The Gravity Project, with its production of "Nine Gates." In April, the college dedicated the $8.3 million Marlene and Barry Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts. The new facility features an ultramodern free-form theatre space, the Suzanne von Liebig Theatre, complemented by a remodeled performance hall, Rosenberger Auditorium.

"We are very pleased to have Philip Horn as our commencement speaker," says Juniata President Thomas R. Kepple Jr. "Education in the arts, as well as the enjoyment of fine art, theatre and music, is a critical part of a liberal arts education. Juniata takes seriously its mission to provide our students access to all aspects of the arts."

In addition, Barry Halbritter, president and CEO of Midstate Tool and Supply Co., will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree at the ceremony.

Horn has been executive director of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts since 1993. During his tenure, the agency has received the highest funding in its history and has doubled its number of grant awards and expanded its services. The state agency was named among the top 50 "most creative, forward-thinking, results-driven government programs" by Harvard's Innovations in American Government Awards.

He also created Pennsylvania Performing Arts on Tour, which brought together several major public and private arts funding organizations to support touring groups within and outside Pennsylvania's borders. He was instrumental in establishing the Center for Arts Management and Technology at Carnegie Mellon University, and helped develop the eGrant program.

Horn earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1975 from California State University, Northridge, and went on to earn a master's degree in theatre in 1979 from Michigan State University.

He serves on the board of directors of the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation and is founding co-chair of the Japan/U.S. Cultural Trade Network with Arts Midwest. He received the Pittsburgh Convention and Visitor's Bureau Travel and Tourism Advocate of the Year Award and the Westmoreland Society Gold Medal. He received the 2005 Gary Young Award from the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies. Before coming to Pennsylvania, he worked at the California Arts Council.

Halbritter, a 1965 Juniata graduate with a bachelor's degree in business, has been a member of the board of trustees since 1993 and has served as chair of the college's annual fund. He also was campaign chair for Juniata's Uncommon Outcomes capital campaign. Halbritter and his wife, Marlene, a 1962 Juniata graduate, are the principal donors for the Marlene and Barry Halbritter Center for the Performing Arts and donated funds for the construction of the Halbritter Plaza of the Cloister residence hall.

Contact John Wall at wallj@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3132 for more information.