Edinboro University celebrated the academic success of 775 students in the Class of 2018 during undergraduate and graduate ceremonies today on EU’s main campus.
Xavier Williams, president of the Public Sector and Wholesale Solutions for AT&T Services, Inc., delivered the keynote address and received an honorary Doctor of Public Service. Williams credited students for their hard work, perseverance and commitment to success.
“Being an Edinboro graduate means you are uniquely capable of handling the change that awaits you,” he said. “Don’t enter this next chapter timidly. Run. Jump. Leap. Embrace what’s next – even if you are still figuring out what that is.”
Williams was selected to receive the honorary degree on the basis of his achievements and expertise in the corporate and philanthropic sectors. He joins previous Edinboro honorary doctorate recipients, which include Pennsylvania governors Raymond P. Shafer (1992), Edward G. Rendell (2006) and Tom Ridge (2014); Erie mayors Louis J. Tullio (1983) and Joyce A. Savocchio (2001); and television/film personalities Fred Rogers (1998) and Sharon Stone (2007).
Interim President Dr. Michael J. Hannan presided over the undergraduate ceremony in McComb Fieldhouse and the graduate ceremony in Louis C. Cole Auditorium – Memorial Hall. Edinboro conferred bachelor and associate degrees upon 620 undergraduates during the morning ceremony, and master’s degrees and post-graduate certificates upon 155 graduate students in the afternoon.
“As each of you pursues a career or advanced degree, you will continue to build on the solid foundation of your Edinboro education, and we will continue to be here for you as you go out into the world to represent Edinboro and your fellow Fighting Scots,” said Hannan, who was named Interim President on April 5. “I applaud your academic success and hard work that has resulted in this celebration and wish you the best in your professional and personal lives.”
Nicole A. Wagner, of Erie, who graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry and a concentration in Biochemistry, delivered the undergraduate student address on behalf of the Class of 2018. Wagner, who earned the 2018 Outstanding Service to the Chemistry Department award and the Outstanding Senior Award from the American Institute of Chemists, reflected on her journey from Cyber School to science chemistry lab.
“We are all here today because we valued the pursuit of knowledge enough to endure the obstacles we may have encountered along the way,” said Wagner, who recently received the 2018 Ernest B. Yeager Award for significant contributions to the advancement of chemistry. “When the celebration of today is over, we’ll all be moving on to our next adventure – and thanks to Edinboro, we will be well-prepared.”
Seth Hembree, a native of Williamsport, Pa., who originally earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Edinboro, delivered the student remarks for the Graduate ceremony. A 3-time letter winner for the Fighting Scots football program and current tight ends coach, Hembree earned his Master of Education in Educational Psychology. He shared stories about how his parents urged him to perform at his best.
“The best isn’t about the grades you earn, the titles you achieve or the money you make,” said Hembree, a member of the National Graduate Honors Society. “Best is about the effort you put in and the work you do each and every day. Best is the daily process of finding ways to improve in one area, without sacrificing your performance in the others.”
Edinboro celebrated the first class of aeronautical students who earned Associate of Applied Science in Applied Technology. Bryan Plucknett, Brandon Morton and Aaron Wolf each earned their degrees in the program, which is a collaboration between Edinboro University and North Coast Flight School in Erie. Combined, the students earned a grade point average of 3.2.
Leading today’s undergraduate procession, Dr. Timothy Neal Thompson, Department of Communication, Journalism and Media, served as the ceremonial mace bearer. Thompson carried the mace following his recognition in April as the 2018 Faculty Member of the Year. Dr. Andrew R. Smith, head of the Communication Studies graduate program at Edinboro University, served as the mace bearer during the graduate commencement ceremony.
Facts about the Edinboro University Class of 2018
Erie County residents: 295
Crawford County residents: 67
Allegheny County residents: 57
Age range: 19-78
Total majors represented: 75
Associate degrees: 84
Bachelor’s degrees: 536
Master’s degrees: 125
Fine Arts – Applied Media Arts: 53
Business Administration: 44
Nursing – BSN: 41
Criminal Justice: 35
Summa cum Laude: 56
Magna cum Laude: 84
Cum Laude: 69