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    University Holds Virtual Undergraduate Celebration

    The University of Scranton conferred more than 875 bachelor’s degrees at a virtual undergraduate celebration ceremony for the class of 2020. A formal commencement ceremony, at which graduates will be individually recognized, will take place on Oct. 25 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre.
    May 31, 2020

    The University of Scranton conferred more than 875 bachelor’s degrees at its virtual undergraduate celebration ceremony on May 31. Degrees were conferred to graduates in a group who had completed their academic degree requirements in August and December of 2019, as well as January and May of 2020. A formal commencement ceremony, at which graduates will be individually recognized, will take place on Oct. 25 at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre.

    Members of the University’s undergraduate class of 2020 represent 14 states including California, Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Undergraduate majors with the most graduates are nursing, exercise science, biology, accounting, occupational therapy and marketing.

    “Our Class is unlike any other. We experienced a rude awakening to the words carved into the DeNaples Center: ‘not where I breathe, but where I love, I live,”’ said Hailey Marie Kindt, Easton, a neuroscience and philosophy double major and member of the University’s undergraduate Honors Program and its Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program, who was among the members of the class of 2020 who spoke at the virtual ceremony. “When we left campus mid-March, uncertain of our return, for long awaited lasts, one word brought me solace: gratitude. I was grateful to have something that made leaving abruptly so heartbreaking. There’s something very special about Scranton that I always struggled to put into words, but it’s simple: it’s the people, the community that has transformed each of us in some way since move-in day. Today and every day, let us be grateful for those people.”

    Other members of the class of 2020 speaking at the ceremony were Colleen C. Rohr, Norristown, a marketing, operations management and philosophy triple major and member of the University’s Business Leadership Honors Program and its Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program; and Fahad Ashraf, Clarks Summit, a biology and philosophy double major and member of the University’s Special Jesuit Liberal Arts Honors Program.

    Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., president of the University, addressed the graduates at the virtual ceremony, and conferred degrees on candidates presented by Brian P. Conniff, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Sam Beldona, Ph.D., dean of the Kania School of Management; and Debra A. Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies.

    In his remarks, Father Pilarz told graduates “adversity does not build character. Adversity reveals character, and you have revealed your character in all of the things that have marred your college experience. … Because of your diligence and perseverance and special, very special character and devotion to one another and to The University of Scranton I am pleased to announce that what we have previously called St. Thomas Gateway, will now be the Class of 2020 Gateway. It’s a fitting way to remember always, what you’ve revealed about yourself in these difficult times.”

    Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, provided the Invocation. Also speaking at the ceremony were Lauren Rivera, J.D., assistant vice president for student life and dean of students; Rev. Herbert B. Keller, S.J., vice president for mission and ministry; and Jeff Gingerich, Ph.D., provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. Congratulatory remarks to the class of 2020 were also given by Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti; U.S. Senators Bob Casey and Pat Toomey; and former cast members of NBC’s The Office Leslie David Baker (Stanley), Kate Flannery (Meredith) and Oscar Nunez (Oscar).

    An archived recording of the ceremony can be seen here.

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