The University of Scranton Conducts Undergraduate Commencement

Jun 1, 2009

The University of Scranton conferred 856 bachelor’s and associate’s degrees at its undergraduate commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 31, 2009, at Wachovia Arena.

The principal speaker was award-winning classical music conductor, composer, educator, author and commentator Rob Kapilow. His long-running "What Makes it Great" series, which debuted on NPR 15 years ago, is now in its 14th season of live performances in Kansas City, and entering its 12th season at New York's Lincoln's Center and at Boston's Celebrity Series.

Kapilow advised graduates to value the unique gift that each one possesses and “become who you are.” 

“Learning to listen for that soft inner voice, the voice that knows what’s right for you though it may not be right for anyone else, the voice that feels when an idea, a quotation, a situation, an image, or a person suddenly resonates with something fundamental in you--learning to listen for the “Hmmm,” I believe, is the key to an authentic and rewarding life,” said Kapilow.

Kapilow received an honorary degree from The University of Scranton, as did Sr. Therese O'Rourke, IHM, president and CEO of St. Joseph’s Center in Scranton, and Rev. John P. McNamee, poet, author, and founder of the Southwest Community Enrichment Center in Philadelphia.

The University of Scranton’s undergraduate class of 2008 included the recipients of Fulbright, Goldwater and other prestigious fellowships. Graduates represented 15 states including California, Colorado, South Carolina, New Jersey, Connecticut and New York. Majors with the most graduates were biology, nursing, communication, elementary education, psychology and political science.

“What marks your Scranton education as singular is the devotion of our faculty to your success,” said University of Scranton President Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., in his remarks. “Their passion for their academic disciplines is exceeded only by their dedication to you.  I assure you this is a rare experience in American higher education and it is the result of our Jesuit identity.”

The commencement also included a welcome by Harold W. Baillie, Ph.D., provost and vice president for academic affairs; an invocation by Carol Tropiano, RSM, university minister; remarks by Erin Quinn, a member of the class of 2009 and vice president of student government; greetings from Michael McDermott, president of the Alumni Society; and benediction by Rev. Terrence Devino, S.J., vice president for university ministries.

Degrees were conferred by Fr. Pilarz. Candidates were presented by Debra Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies; Michael Mensah, Ph.D., dean of the Kania School of Management; W. Jeffrey Welsh, Ph.D., dean of the College of Graduate and Continuing Education; and Paul Fahey, Ph.D., acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.

For a list of graduates, visit:
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