Edinboro native delivers Graduate Commencement Ceremony student address


Zewe 2021

Matthew Zewe represents December Class of 2021

Edinboro, Pa., native Matthew Zewe, who received a Master of Business Administration, represented the Class of 2021 during Edinboro University’s graduate commencement ceremony on Dec. 11.

Zewe was also honored with the Outstanding Graduate Student award in his program, a recognition he shared will fellow MBA grad Angela Sutlic.

Zewe attended General McLane High School in Edinboro and received his B.S. in Economics from Edinboro University in 2017. As an undergraduate, he presented economic research at the Cleveland Federal Reserve in 2016, received the Edinboro Bookstore Scholarship in 2016, was awarded the Edinboro University Outstanding Business and Economics Student Graduate Award in 2017, graduated from the Edinboro University Honors Program and received summa cum laude honors.

Interim President Dale-Elizabeth Pehrsson recognized 547 students during the first in-person ceremony since 2019. Dr. Michael Hannan, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs conferred associate and bachelor’s degrees on 182 undergraduates during the morning ceremony and master’s degrees upon 86 graduate students in the afternoon – with several students attending from the Class of 2020.


Good morning fellow graduates, family members, friends, and university staff. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to speak before you today and to share our special day of commencement.

Edinboro University has been a part of me my entire life. I grew up in the Edinboro, Pennsylvania area, my mother worked at the university, I attended Edinboro for my undergraduate degree in 2013, and I enrolled in the university’s MBA program in 2020. That same year, my wife and I bought our first home within walking distance of campus—it is easy to say, Edinboro is home to me.

Edinboro is home to many of us because of the excellence it represents. When we think of Edinboro, it reminds us of the grit we developed as undergraduate and graduate students. When I say grit, I am not talking about Edinboro’s average annual snowfall of 111 inches. I am speaking about conjuring strength when challenges present themselves—well, maybe I am talking about Edinboro’s snow.

Edinboro’s professors and academic rigor challenge students to develop their work ethic, build relationships inside and outside the classroom, and most importantly, make an impact on others. Whether you are a teacher, nurse, counselor, or business professional, the skills you developed by overcoming challenges presented to you during your graduate studies will impact your coworkers, friends, family, and those you strive to help in life.

As we move forward with our lives, know our journey to learn is not over, and there are many opportunities to continue being a product of Edinboro. Going forward, dive into your interests and consume books, media, and lessons from mentors. You will be amazed at how much you can learn by committing yourself to your goals.

Additionally, take on challenges that push you outside of your comfort zone. These experiences can be some of the most rewarding you will have in life. Take on additional responsibilities at your work, volunteer at causes you care about, invest in relationships you have with your family and friends, and overall, decide to show up when others are afraid to.

Lastly, trust yourself. Edinboro has taught us many things, both academic and practical, and we should carry this confidence with us moving forward in life. Every human is prone to insecurities or indecisiveness, but know failure is part of life. Failure is often quoted as the most beneficial experience for many successful influencers in our society. Trust yourself that making a right or wrong decision is not final, and many times we will have to course correct along the way to our destination.

Indeed, our experience at Edinboro has been exciting, challenging, rewarding, and memorable. We all have people to thank for our experiences, and I personally have several. I would like to thank my parents for raising me and supporting me through every stage of my life; my wife who has been my best friend since grade school; my professors who invested their time and energy to ensure my education was of premium quality; and lastly, thank you to all of you for making Edinboro home.

Congratulations, Classes of 2020 and 2021!

Matthew Zewe Bio

Professionally, Zewe is a Commercial Banker at ERIEBANK in Erie, Pa., specializing in small-business lending and banking needs. His duties include analyzing business financial statements, connecting customers with products and services, underwriting loan requests, and managing his customer loan portfolio. Zewe has completed five certified courses through American Bankers Association and Pennsylvania Bankers Association.

Additionally, he serves as a General McLane Foundation Board of Trustee, Erie Ambassadors member, Young Erie Professionals member, St. Francis Xavier Knights of Columbus member, General McLane Strategic Planning Committee member, and belongs to organizations such as the National Society of Leadership and Success and International Honor Society in Business.

In his free time, Zewe enjoys attending the Edinboro YMCA, reading, hunting, being outdoors, and being a fan of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers football team. Matt lives in Edinboro with his wife, Katie.

Photo: Edinboro, Pa., native Matthew Zewe delivered the Graduate Commencement address during the Dec. 11 ceremony. Pictured with Zewe is his wife, Katie, who earned a master’s degree in Special Education.