Spring graduates set to walk; speaker chosen


Gannon University’s spring commencement ceremony will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 7, at the Erie Insurance Arena. Approximately 920 students will be graduating during this ceremony.
Events will be held earlier in the day leading up to the ceremony, in which families and graduates may attend.
Beginning at 8:30 a.m., the Schuster Theatre will hold the ROTC Commissioning Ceremony. This event honors graduating seniors who will move on to be commissioned into the service. This year, five candidates will be commissioned.
The Baccalaureate Mass will be held at 10 a.m. at St. Peter Cathedral. Friends, family and graduates are encouraged to attend this worship as the congregation hopes for continued success for the students.
A graduate reception will be held in the Yehl Ballroom of the Waldron Campus Center at 11 a.m. and then the graduates will assemble at 1 p.m. in the Erie Insurance Arena leading up to commencement.
The featured speaker for this year’s commencement ceremony will be Brig. Gen. Timothy J. Hilty.
Hilty earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in criminal justice from Gannon in 1981 and served on active duty in the military for over 10 years.
Hilty joined the Pennsylvania National Guard in 1995 and in 1996, he deployed to Bosnia. Hilty also received both The Honorable Order of Saint Barbara and The Honorable Order of Saint Michael.
The ceremony will celebrate the achievements of this year’s graduating class, as well as recognize each student individually by announcing his or her name.
Nichole Parsell, a senior physician assistant major, explained what this ceremony will ultimately mean to her.
“Commencement is the last step in finalizing the four years of undergrad and the first step of starting the next chapter of my adult life,” she said.
Dexter Witchey, a senior physician assistant major, said he was excited for the ceremony as well.
“I’m looking forward to seeing the payoff of four years of hard work,” he said.
Gannon staff has requested that both graduates and families remain seated and not leave the event until all of the graduate’s names are called.
This is to be sure that all students are recognized and respected while the ceremony is taking place. They also ask that families and graduates do not bring food, cans, bottles or beverages other than water to the event.
Attendees are not required to purchase a ticket for this event or any of the activities leading up to commencement. Seating for the activities is on a first-come, first-served basis.
RSVPs for the events are requested, but not required. All are encouraged to attend and celebrate with the Gannon community as we congratulate our peers and friends as they move on to the next step in their lives.

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