The University of Scranton Conducts Undergraduate Commencement

May 24, 2013

The University of Scranton conferred 1,735 degrees – the largest number of degrees in its history – at two commencement ceremonies this weekend, including more than 900 bachelor’s and associate degrees at its undergraduate commencement on May 26 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre.

Graduates included recipients of some of the nation’s most prestigious scholarships, including the Truman Scholarship, Goldwater Scholarship and multiple Fulbright scholarships. Graduates represent 13 states, including Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Virginia. Majors with the most graduates in 2013 are biology, nursing, accounting, exercise science, communication, psychology and occupational therapy.

Sandra Postel, a respected author, scholar, lecturer and consultant on global water protection, and director of the Global Water Policy Project, served as commencement speaker.

“I’ve devoted my life to the science and understanding of sustainability – the concept of inter-generational justice and stewardship that basically says we should aim to meet the needs of our present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,” said Postel, who advised graduates to find their niche –the intersection of “what you love” and “what you’re good at.” 

“Find your niche -- and don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things until you do.  It’s been said that the two most important days of our lives are the day we were born and the day we understand why,” said Postel. “And, never doubt that your story and your niche in this world matter.”

Postel also advised graduates to keep “the tradition of service with you, because nothing can bring you more happiness or fulfillment than serving a cause greater than yourself.”

“As a proponent of an international water ethic, Sandra brings a global perspective to a common concern, using research and science to educate the world about issues concerning a precious natural resource,” said University of Scranton President Kevin P. Quinn, S.J.

Postel also received an honorary degree from the University at the ceremony.

A leading authority and prolific author on international water issues, Postel is author of “Last Oasis: Facing Water Scarcity” (W.W. Norton, 1992, revised 1997), which was chosen by Choice magazine as a 1993 Outstanding Academic Book and has been published in eight languages. The book was the basis for a 1997 PBS documentary “Last Oasis.” She also wrote “Pillar of Sand: Can the Irrigation Miracle Last?” (W.W. Norton, 1999) and co-authored “Rivers of Life” (Island Press 2003) and “Saving the Planet: How to Shape an Environmentally Sustainable Global Economy” (W.W. Norton, 1991).

In 2010 Postel was appointed Freshwater Fellow at the National Geographic Society. She is also co-founder and host of National Geographic’s freshwater blog. The author of more than 100 articles that have been published in popular magazines and scholarly journals, Postel serves as water fellow of the Post Carbon Institute, and has served as an advisor to the Division on Earth and Life Studies of the U.S. National Research Council.

In addition to the remarks by Postel, Father Quinn addressed the graduates and their guests.

For a list of graduates, click here.

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