University Holds Undergraduate Commencement

    The University of Scranton conferred nearly 900 degrees at its undergraduate commencement.
    May 27, 2018

    The University of Scranton conferred more than 890 bachelor’s and associate’s degrees at its undergraduate commencement on May 27 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre. Very Reverend Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J., president of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States, read the remarks of the principal speaker Most Reverend George V. Murry, S.J., Bishop of the Diocese of Youngstown, who was unable to attend the ceremony in person because he is undergoing treatment for a form of acute leukemia. Both Father Kesicki and Bishop Murry, in absentia, received honorary degrees from the University. Honorary degrees were also presented to Sister Ann Walsh, I.H.M., former CEO and current assistant director of Friends of the Poor; William Whitaker, founding president of the Washington Jesuit Academy, Washington. D.C.; and Cecelia Lynett Haggerty, Times-Shamrock Communications and former University trustee.

    Graduates receiving degrees at the ceremony include those who completed their program requirements in August and December of 2017, as well as January and May of 2018.

    Reading the remarks of Bishop Murry, Father Kesicki advised graduates that “‘(y)oung people lead us. Young people change the world. You do it with your courage and you do it with your fresh eyes that envision new possibilities,’” said Father Kesicki. “‘We older folks have mostly accepted our divisions as fact. Too often we have distanced ourselves from one another by race, by political beliefs, by religion, by education, and more. Politicians and media operations prey on our separateness and sow discord, gathering support by appealing to one group over and against another. Do not believe in these divisions.’”

    Bishop Murry concluded his remarks, as read by Father Kesicki, by saying “‘I see young people moving all of us toward a more blessed and diverse community. You have always sparked change and been leaders when we needed it. The task of ending racism and poverty is not over, and we need you. The struggle to protect the environment, the unborn and the immigrant continues, and we need you. We need you in order to make progress on these issues. Perhaps most importantly, we need you to see beyond what appears to separate us and hold onto what connects us – belonging together in one human family.’”

    Members of the University’s class of 2018 represent 10 states including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. The class includes the recipient of a Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship, the premier undergraduate scholarship for the fields of mathematics, natural sciences and engineering, and a Fulbright scholarship, which is the U.S. government’s premier scholarship program for overseas graduate study, research and teaching. Matthew Reynolds, Apalachin, New York, received the Goldwater Scholarship and Lauren Coggins, Clarks Summit, received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Mexico.

    Undergraduate majors with the most graduates are nursing, exercise science, occupational therapy, biology and accounting.

    Also at the ceremony, Interim President Rev. Herbert B. Keller, S.J., addressed the graduates and their guests.

    In addition, Erin F. Alexander ’18, a psychology major from Linden, New Jersey, provided student remarks for her class. Also speaking at the ceremony were Joseph H. Dreisbach, Ph.D., interim provost and senior vice president for academic affairs; Teresa A. Grettano, Ph.D., assistant professor of English and theatre; Michael K. Short ’99, Alumni Society president; Debra A. Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies; Michael O. Mensah, Ph.D., dean of the Kania School of Management; and Brian P. Conniff, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, provided the Invocation.

    An archived recording of the ceremony can be seen at

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