Gannon University will be handing out 146 degrees at Winter Commencement Sunday. At least 117 students of the total 146 are expected to walk.
Gannon’s Winter Commencement will be held at 2 p.m. in the Hammermill Center, located in the Waldron Campus Center.
All graduates are expected to assemble in Club LaRiccia in the lower level of the Beyer Hall Cafeteria at 1 p.m. before the ceremony begins.
James Toohey, class of 1956, is scheduled to be a guest speaker at the ceremony.
Toohey was in ROTC while at Gannon and later was commissioned an officer and served in the Army for two years following graduation.
He was a member of the Gannon Board of Trustees for 30 years and served as its chairman for two years – the only lay person to have been appointed to this position.
Toohey plans to refer to a commencement speech of Lou Holtz given on Nov. 8, 2017, “The 3 Rules to a Less Complicated Life,” which is on YouTube, and a book titled “Thank You for Being Late” by Thomas Freidman. The book was published in 2016, an optimist’s guide to thriving in the age of acceleration.
He encourages the graduates to listen to coach Holtz’s speech and read Friedman’s book to assist them in developing a successful beginning of their life’s path.
At the ceremony, each graduate will be announced by name, a personalized touch Gannon has held onto.
As done in previous years, all in attendance will be asked to stay in their seats.
This rule is geared toward both guests and fellow students to ensure respect for all graduates.
As well as keeping graduates safe, this allows each graduate a special moment of recognition.
This policy also applies to asking audience members to avoid approaching the stage to take pictures during the ceremony. Once the recessional has ended with the graduates leaving, friends and family will be allowed to return to the stage to take pictures. There will also be professional photographers in attendance.
They will photograph all graduates as they walk across the stage and receive their diploma.
A video of the ceremony will be available for purchase.
To be sure the ceremony remains a formal and respectful event, items such as food, cans, alcohol, balloons and beverages are not permitted during the ceremony by guests of graduates.
Each graduate is allowed an infinite number of invites, differing from previous ceremonies.
Seating will be done on a first-come, first served basis for all graduation events.
If a family member or guest will need accessible seating accommodations, please call the Registrar’s office at 814-871-7610.
No tickets are required for the ceremony or any other events going on during the weekend.
Hannah Roseberry, a senior business major with a minor in accounting, like most graduating seniors will miss her time spent at Gannon.
“I’m excited to be graduating and also a little relieved to be done with college finally,” Roseberry said.
“I will definitely miss my friends, even though a majority of them have already graduated.”
Brian Bowersox, a senior communication arts major, has served on the 90.5 WERG staff since his freshman year, and now hopes to find a career that lets him continue his passion.
“I have a job at iHeartMedia, and I’m looking to pursue a career in broadcasting or as a graphic designer,” Bowersox said.
“I’m excited to face what’s next in my life.”
Marissa Siebka, a senior early childhood education major, looks forward to life after graduation.
“I plan on going right into my master’s and looking for jobs and subbing,” Siebka said.
“I look forward to geting into my own classroom and impactng a child’s life for the better.”
A baccalaureate Mass will also be held at 11 a.m. Sunday in Yehl Alumni Room of the Waldron Campus Center.
Gannon graduates, family and friends are invited to this liturgy.
Immediately following the commencement ceremony, a reception will be held in the Yehl Alumni Room of the Waldron Campus Center.