Seniors ready to graduate

Students will get their final chance to shine in the Gannon University spotlight as they receive their dimplomas in the university’s graduation ceremony.

The ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 11, at the Erie Insurance Arena.

Several events will be taking place leading up to the event, starting with the U.S. Army Commissioning Ceremony at Room 209 in the Waldron Campus Center. The day continues with the Baccalaureate Mass at 10 a.m. at St. Peter Cathedral at 230 W. 10th St.

Faculty will gather at 1:15 p.m. at the lower level of the Erie Insurance Arena where they will be able to get ready for the ceremony.

Cindy Kurczewski, a records specialist in the Registrar Office, said 767 students were graduating in this ceremony. A total of 65 international students – from countries like Canada, Saudi Arabia, India and South Africa – are also receiving their diplomas.

Of the 767 degrees awarded, Kurczewski said, 435 are bachelor’s degrees; 261 are master’s degrees; 41 are doctor of physical therapy; 28 are associate degrees and two are Ph.D.s.

Kurczewski said the numbers may vary slightly when the actual ceremony takes place because of last-minute issues, yet she said she tries her best to communicate the procedures with the students.

“Some people say they wanted to attend but something comes up,” Kurczewski said. “I do everything I can to try to let people know that this is what they need to know.”

Sister Mary Ann Dillon, R.S.M., Ph.D., will be giving the commencement speech. She is a Mercy Sister who serves as senior vice president of mission and sponsorship of Mercy Health System of Southeastern Pennsylvania in Conshohocken, Pa.

Several seniors are feeling mixed emotions about leaving the university they spent their years in, but many of them have already made plans for the future.

One of these is Lauren Sazama, a senior communications major, who said she had conflicting emotions of enthusiasm and fear of what’s ahead.

“I am very excited but I am nervous because I don’t want any adult responsibility,” Sazama said. “But it is very exciting because I am moving on to the next chapter of my life.”

Sazama said her immediate goal was to teach English in China, for which she began filing the paperwork. Sazama also plans on joining the Navy next year.

Other students like Jonathan Simmons, a senior criminal justice/political science major, are not quite ready to leave the educational sphere just yet.

Simmons plans on going to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in criminal justice. His experience at Gannon has been fully rewarding, he said.

“I feel it’s a big accomplishment in my life to graduate – it’s one of the things you look forward to in life,” Simmons said. “Gannon has given me many great memories and many great friends.

“I’ve been very privileged to have attended it the last years.”

 

HIBA ALMASRI

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