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Edinboro University graduates 925 students during Saturday's Commencement Ceremonies

Separate Master’s and Undergraduate Commencements

05/14/2012

EDINBORO, Pa. – Once again reflecting upon decades of rich academic customs and traditions, Edinboro University Interim President James D. Moran conferred degrees upon 925 graduating students during the University’s 2012 Spring Commencement Ceremonies Saturday morning and afternoon.

In the morning ceremony at historic Louis C. Cole Auditorium-Memorial Hall, Dr. Moran conferred upon students 284master’s degrees.

During the afternoon ceremony at McComb Fieldhouse, following the ceremonial procession of faculty and graduating students, Moran conferred upon students 604 bachelor’s degrees and another 37 associate’s degrees.

Saturday’s graduation events marked the first time Edinboro held separate Spring Master’s and Undergraduate Commencement ceremonies.

Edinboro’s chief academic officer, Dr. Philip Ginnetti, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, convened both ceremonies. Each included a welcome from John E. Horan, chair of the Edinboro University Council of Trustees.

At the Master’s Commencement, the student address was delivered by Rosa Gerber, who earned a Master of Arts Degree in Speech Language Pathology. Dr. Ginnetti and Dr. Terry L. Smith, Dean of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Alan J. Biel, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and Dr. Susan Curtin, Associate Dean of Education, presented to Dr. Moran their candidates for degrees. 

During the afternoon undergraduate ceremony, former Congresswoman Kathleen A. Dahlkemper, an Edinboro alumna, delivered the commencement address and received the honorary degree, Doctor of Public Service (Doctor Beneficiorum Publicorum, Honoris Causa).

In her address, Dahlkemper focused on lessons learned in Congress, and in particular what public service now means to her. She spoke of the young men and women serving in the military and of volunteers at Ground Zero after 9/11, citing the case of an Red Cross worker who contracted cancer after helping others there.

“I am asking you to be open to the opportunities that will come in front of you in the years ahead,” she told the Class of 2012. “I am asking you to push fear aside, dig deep within yourself and determine if that opportunity is the one that will make a difference for you and the world.”

Later, in her address, she encouraged the graduates to be aware of the choices in front of them and which ones “will make a difference in the lives of others, in the future of the area you live, in the future of our country and in the future of our world.”

Urging the newest Edinboro alumni to make a difference, large or small, Dahlkemper said, “I look out and see an extraordinary group of talented young adults in front of me. You have the world in front of you. How you choose to move through that world will determine what type of life, happiness and success you have.

“Today, like other times in our history, we are at a crossroads and the question is do we choose self-interest over the greater good? I urge you to choose the greater good because I guarantee you, if you do, you will serve your own interests in ways far deeper and more satisfying than had you not.”

The student speaker for the undergraduate ceremony was Ryan Delong, who received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health and Physical Education and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

As with the morning ceremony, Provost Ginnetti, Dean Smith and Associate Dean Curtin, along with Dr. Michael J. Hannan, Dean of Business, presented to President Moran their candidates for degrees.

At the conclusion of the afternoon ceremony, Joseph Mineo, President of the Edinboro University Alumni Association’s Board of Directors, welcomed the University’s newest alumni to the growing alumni network of some 60,000 graduates.

During the Commencement ceremonies, a total of 78 academic majors were represented by the Spring 2012 graduating class. The largest number of students graduated with degrees in education, art, business administration, nursing, psychology, social work and criminal justice.

In between the Master’s and Undergraduate Commencements, President Moran greeted graduating students and their families at a Commencement Brunch at Van Houten Dining Hall.

Graduation Day Factoids:

  • Of the 925 graduates, 604 received bachelor’s degrees; 284 received master’s degrees; and 37 received associate’s degrees.
  • Latin honors were awarded to 192 students. Forty-nine earned Summa Cum Laude honors (3.8 to 4.0 grade point average); 61 earned Magna Cum Laude honors (3.6 to 3.79 grade point average); and 82 graduated Cum Laude (3.4 to 3.59 grade point average).
  • Three-hundred seventy graduating students reside in Erie County, while 112 are from Crawford County.
  • Six-hundred twenty six-six graduates are female; 299 are male.
  • The oldest is 62; the youngest 19.
  • Live video of both ceremonies was streamed via Edinboro’s website and was viewed online globally at www.edinboro.edu; the ceremonies were also telecast live by the University’s student-run television station, ETV.
  • Unique, automated, bar-coded video self-introductions on the large McComb Fieldhouse screens again featured the graduating students as they crossed the stage to receive their diplomas. The self-introductions, which have been used by Edinboro for several years, employ cutting edge technology developed by the firm, Marching Order.


Spring Commencement participants

Leading the academic procession and representing his faculty colleagues by carrying the Ceremonial Mace for the Master’s Commencement was Dr. Ronald Spiller of Edinboro University’s History, Anthropology, and World Languages Department. Dr. Albert O. “Tim” Cordell, of Edinboro’s Music Department, was the Mace Bearer for the Undergraduate Commencement Ceremony.

The distinction of being selected Mace Bearers emphasizes the importance of faculty in Edinboro’s academic environment, where learning is preeminent, and is symbolic of the central role which faculty play in the academic and personal development of Edinboro students.

During the McComb Fieldhouse processional, nearly a dozen international students proudly marched carrying the flags of their nations.

Going green again!

Edinboro’s dedication to protecting the environment and its commitment to sustainability in all things again was reflected in a major way during the Commencement Ceremonies. Graduates were decked out in the traditional black gowns and “mortarboard” caps, but the Commencement apparel had definitely “gone green.”

Since the Commencement of December 2009, degree recipients have worn GreenWeaver graduation caps and gowns made of 100 percent, post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. During the December 2009 Commencement, Edinboro became the first of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education’s 14 universities to have its graduating class wear the “green” caps and gowns.

Each GreenWeaver gown produced by Oak Hall Cap & Gown, a Virginia manufacturer of academic apparel, keeps an average of 23 plastic bottles from winding up in landfills. With hundreds of graduating students participating in Saturday’s Commencement exercises, that equates to thousands of bottles being kept from landfills.

Music for Saturday’s Master’s Commencement was provided by Edinboro’s Brass Ensemble. The University’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble provided music for the Undergraduate Commencement. The student leader for the National Anthem and Alma Mater was Tara Hart.

Grads, families, nurses, ROTC to be honored during special events

Graduating students and their families were also be honored by University officials Friday evening during an Academic Honors Convocation at Cole Auditorium. The convocation recognizes all honors graduates. 

In addition, also on Friday, 36 students graduating with nursing degrees were recognized during a traditional pinning ceremony in the Off-Campus Activities Center on Darrow Road.

The pinning ceremony marked the completion of the first part of the journey to becoming a nurse, according to Nursing Department Chair Patricia Nosel. Although the graduates’ formal education has been completed, continued learning in nursing is a life-long pursuit. Thus, the pinning ceremony can be looked upon as the bridge that carries the individual from the role of student to the reality of becoming a professional. Decades ago, nurses wore white uniforms with caps that identified them as graduates of particular schools. As caps and whites gave way to colorful scrubs, the school pin remains a symbol of the connection with their school, their peers, and their faculty. In the past, many Edinboro nursing students chose to dedicate their pins to family members who helped them along their journey, to a close friend, or to the spiritual force that supported them.

Saturday’s nursing graduates were among the first to experience the new Jeremy D. Brown Human Services Building, designed to meet the specialized needs of the Nursing Department.

Another meaningful Friday event associated with Commencement was held in the Frank G. Pogue Student Center’s Scot Cinema when the Cadre and Cadets of the Fighting Scots U.S. Army ROTC Battalion conducted its Spring Commissioning Ceremony. Four graduating seniors took their oaths as Second Lieutenants in the U.S. Army prior to deploying to active duty.

Those who swore to uphold, protect and defend the U.S. Constitution were Anthony M. Dennis of Edinboro, a Criminal Justice major; Kyle A. Mummert of Meadville, also a Criminal Justice major; Elizabeth A. Patarcity of Coraopolis, Pa., a German major; and Mitchell E. Shablesky, Jr., of Beaver Falls, Pa., a Social Studies/Secondary Education major. All four have achieved “Distinguished Military Graduate” status.

The Commissioning event’s keynote speaker was the highly-decorated U.S. Army Brigadier General (Retired) Mark Bellini, previously the Army’s 49th Quartermaster General and a 1979 graduate of Edinboro University.