The University of Scranton Conducts Undergraduate Commencement


The University of Scranton conferred more than 970 bachelor’s and associate’s degrees at its undergraduate commencement on Sunday, May 29, 2011, at Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre.

University of Scranton President Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., served as principal speaker at the ceremony.

“My friends in the Class of 2011, your education here at Scranton introduced you to high ideals and aspirations,” said Father Pilarz in his remarks. “Yours is a formation that elicits great desires – desires that direct your days and works to the glory of God and the well-being of humankind.”

At commencement, honorary degrees from Scranton were presented to Freda Adler, Ph.D., director of the Master of Science Program in Criminology and visiting professor in the Department of Criminology at the University of Pennsylvania; Carl J. Kuehner, University of Scranton alumnus, former chair of its board of trustees, and co-founder of Hope for Haiti; and Msgr. Andrew Martin, president emeritus of Camden Catholic High School, Cherry Hill, N.J.

The University of Scranton’s undergraduate class of 2011 included four recipients of Fulbright scholarships – the U.S. Government’s premier scholarship program for overseas graduate study, teaching and research – and two recipients of Goldwater scholarships – the nation’s most coveted scholarship program for science, engineering and mathematics. Graduates represented 16 states including Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Majors with the most graduates were biology, exercise science, communication, nursing, psychology, elementary education, marketing and accounting.

In his address, Father Pilarz told graduates the Jesuit education they received at Scranton was “so much more than the accumulation of information.”

“… (T)he word education, as we commonly use it, doesn’t really capture what happens on this sacred ground. Your time here has been formative, transformative. A word inscribed on the statue of St. Ignatius on campus expresses it best – metanoia – a time of turning. Turning toward new ideas, new methodologies, new paradigms, and, most importantly, new people,” said Father Pilarz. “Take time to count the ways in which you are different than you were four years ago. Take stock of the new you – the person who was been shaped in ways subtle and dramatic, the person who now welcomes what is to come.”

Father Pilarz ended his address to the graduates where he began when he arrived in Scranton eight years ago – as an English professor – by quoting the poem “What is the greatest gift?” by Mary Oliver.

He also quoted Robert Southwell, S.J., reminding graduates that they have been well loved at Scranton.

“Spend your love lavishly on the friends you have made at Scranton. Love all that you have learned here. Love the University that is now fully yours,” said Father Pilarz. “Wherever life takes you, tell the people you meet about the graces given and received on this sacred ground we have shared – The University of Scranton. ‘Not where you breathe, but where you love, you live.’ No matter where you breathe, part of you will always love and live at The University of Scranton.”

The commencement marked the last public appearance by Father Pilarz as the 24th president of The University of Scranton. He is the fifth longest-serving president at Scranton and third longest-serving Jesuit president. He will begin service as president of Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wis., this summer.

The University of Scranton has named the west building of the Mulberry Street apartment and fitness complex, currently under construction, Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., Hall in recognition of his leadership and service to the University.

The list of graduates and program of speakers can be seen at here.

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