Students to walk at Fall Commencement Ceremony


Gannon University’s Fall 2015 graduates will be walking the great maroon and gold way to receive their diplomas at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Hammermill Center.

The ceremony will present 209 total graduates and each name will be announced individually. The graduates are earning one doctoral degree, 165 master’s degrees and 93 bachelor’s degrees.

The students graduating span 13 countries: Australia, Bahamas, Bulgaria, People’s Republic of China, Ghana, India, Iraq, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Syrian Arab Republic, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Since many of the students graduating are from abroad, Gannon has created a live stream in an effort to include families and friends from home in the graduation process. For those who are interested in the event but cannot attend, the livestream can be found on Gannon’s website.

The rules have tightened up at this semester’s commencement ceremony. Due to a distinct lack of respect for the graduates in the past, no one will be permitted to leave the ceremony early.

Many of the past graduates, according to the administration, left the ceremony as soon as they left the stage and received their diploma, thus taking away from the graduates who had  yet to take their walk up to the stage.

“We ask people to be respectful as others get their degrees so that those who have yet to receive their degrees names can be heard,” said Kathryn DeSante, chair of the commencement committee and assistant to the provost,

In addition, no food, cans, bottles or beverages other than water are allowed into the ceremony. All confetti, toys, fireworks, signs, noise makers, balloons and standing on chairs are also prohibited.

Gannon has tried to enforce such rules in the past, achieving little success.  The administration believes that this is the year that will change.

The commencement speaker is Mark S. Zagorski, the CEO of eXelate, a marketing company owned by Nielsen Co.

Zagorski, who received his Bachelor of Science in finance from Gannon, brings more than 15 years of digital marketing leadership to his role of CEO at eXelate and to the Hammermill stage.

As a student at Gannon, Zagorski was a Student Ambassador, president of the Edward Lamb Student Investment Trust and member of the Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity.

Soon after his undergraduate graduation, he was awarded the university’s Distinguished Young Alumnus Award.

Zagorski has been part of the digital marketing world since 1997 when he joined Modem Media Poppe Tyson Advertising Agency.

The agency has been credited with pioneering digital advertising, including being the source of the web’s first banner ad.  While at Modem Media, he worked with clients such as IBM, Priceline and Standard & Poor’s.

As the current CEO of eXelate, Zagorski is responsible for launching the company’s U.S. operations.  He has built offices in London, Paris, New York, San Francisco, Chicago and Tel Aviv.

He is also responsible for the expansion of the company’s global data footprint to over 2 billion consumers worldwide.


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