LOCK HAVEN, Pa. - President Keith T. Miller presented master’s, bachelor’s, and associate degrees at Lock Haven University’s commencement ceremony on Sunday, December 7. Thomas Field House was filled with university officials, dignitaries, and guests as 202 degree candidates received their diplomas. Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State
System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in
the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate
programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and
work in Pennsylvania.
The featured speaker was Philip Burlingame, Lock Haven class of 1978 and associate vice president for student affairs at The Pennsylvania State University, who presented the graduates with three challenges to guide them in the future.
The first challenge Burlingame delivered was to “do good,” which he defined as “finding a cause in your life that is greater than you.” “So just as soon as you get settled into your new life after Lock Haven,” he advised, “jump right in and do good.”
Burlingame’s second challenge to the graduates was “feed your mind.” “The life of your mind will only flourish with feeding,” he said. “I am afraid that many of us fritter away our days on this earth as if we were asleep—merely distracted by media and our quest for consumer goods. Even when your duties at work and with your family seem overwhelming, carve out some time to read, imagine, be curious and think.”
Burlingame’s third challenge to the graduates was “don’t take yourself too seriously. He cited the example of the Marx Brothers, especially Groucho Marx. “They never took themselves too seriously,” he said. “In fact, in all of their movies, they consistently poked fun at those who did.”
In his final words to the graduating class, Burlingame summed up his message: “All that is ahead for you in your life begins now. Right now, with this commencement. Do good. Feed your mind. And rent a Marx brothers movie to see just how joyful life can be when you don’t take yourself too seriously.”
Following the commencement address, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Roger Johnson presented the candidate for a master’s degree. David L. White, dean of the College of Arts and Science, and Thomas C. Ormond, dean of the College of Education and Human Services, presented the candidates for associate and baccalaureate degrees from their respective colleges. Linda Koch, vice president for student affairs, called the names of the graduates as they approached the podium to receive their diploma cases from the President. Assisting was William Hanelly, vice president for finance, administration and technology.
After the conferral of degrees, President Miller urged the graduates to “continue on the path you have begun here at Lock Haven, serving your community both locally and globally.” He added, “I wish you continued success and a lifetime of achievement.”
Marshals for the commencement were Professor Sharon Taylor and Dr. Clay Kleckley. The Lock Haven University ROTC Color Guard posted the colors. Music was provided by the University Community Ensemble, led by Assistant Professor Jack Schmidt. Guy A. Graham, chair of the Lock Haven University Council of Trustees, officially opened the ceremony. Other trustees on the platform were Miss Shara Ruffin, Ms. Margery Krevsky, Dr. George Durrwachter, Ms. Virginia Roth, and Mr. Chris Dwyer.
Douglas S. Campbell, professor in the LHU communications department, delivered the invocation and benediction. Fay L. Cook, president of the LHU chapter of APSCUF, and Christopher Lunden, SCC president, offered greetings and congratulations to the graduating class. Ms. Lauren Dwyer, student vocalist, sang the National Anthem and the Alma Mater. Mr. Jerry Updegraff, vice president for university advancement, chaired the commencement committee.
A reception honoring the graduates and their guests followed the ceremony.
Concerts on the Fredericks Family Carillon featuring carillonneur Ona Ruth Weimer were held one hour prior to and following the commencement ceremony.