Winter commencement to be held Sunday

Gannon University will honor its December 2021 graduates in a ceremony on its Erie campus


Gannon University will hold a winter commencement ceremony for graduates of the Erie campus Sunday at 1 p.m. Ruskin will not have a winter ceremony.

Chloe Palmiere, News Editor

Gannon University’s 2021 winter commencement ceremony for the Erie campus will take place Sunday.

While still being in the midst of the pandemic, this will be the most “normal” commencement since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020.

Faith Wilson, senior criminal justice major is very grateful she can have such a special day celebrated with her fellow graduates.

“Gannon University has done an amazing job to make this December commencement ceremony just as special as the spring one” Wilson says.

The Ruskin campus will not be having a winter commencement this year.

The ceremony for all Ruskin graduates will be held in the spring semester on May 15, 2022, at Bradenton Area Convention Center in Palmetto, Fla.

The Erie campus’s winter commencement ceremony will be held 1 p.m. Sunday in the Hammermill Center.

Graduates are to report to Club LaRiccia, located in the basement in Beyer Hall, at noon.

Michael J. Nunes, a 2001 Gannon graduate and now senior vice president in Current Programming at NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, is scheduled to be Sunday’s guest speaker.

Nunes is an Erie native who graduated from Strong Vincent High School and went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in communication and media studies from Gannon.

He was a member of the Delta Chi fraternity, as well as vice president of marketing for the Student Government Association.

Gannon will be handing out diplomas to undergraduate, graduate and doctorate students.

In the past two years, Gannon has had to follow different rules due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but this winter commencement will look different.

There will only be one ceremony for all graduates, rather than spreading it out by college.

There is not a limit to the number of guests a student can bring. To ensure the safety of these guests and in accordance with Gannon’s COVID-19 policy, all guests must wear masks indoors at all times on Gannon’s campus.

Olivia Hahner, a senior public relations, journalism communication and advertising communication major, understands why everyone must wears masks but wishes it could be different.

“I am excited that I still get to have an in-person graduation, but I am disappointed that I won’t get to have all of the same memories,” Hahner said. “When I take my picture shaking Dr. Taylor’s hand, you won’t be able to see my smiling face under the mask. But in the long run I am very grateful I can walk.”

A livestream of these events will be provided for additional family members and friends who are unable to attend in person.

Hahner expressed how excited she is to be able to have her whole family in attendance and be able to watch her walk across the stage in person.

“A lot of my family and friends are attending and want to form their own cheering section,” she said. “If I don’t cry, I will be very surprised.”

Gannon President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., said that the in-person ceremony is cause for celebration, and that recognizing the milestone for students is an exciting prospect.

“This year, we are grateful that we can celebrate together with all families and guests in person,” he said. “We are proud of our graduates, who have overcome so much – including a pandemic – to get here. We look forward to honoring their incredible accomplishments and the individuals they have become.”

A baccalaureate Mass will also be held at 10 a.m. Sunday in the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel.

Gannon graduates, family and friends are invited to this gathering.

Immediately following the commencement ceremony, a dessert reception will be held in the Yehl Alumni Room in the Waldron Campus Center.


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