Eberly College of Business and Information Technology: IUP 2020 December Virtual Commencement
(gentle music) - Hello, and welcome to IUP's virtual commencement ceremony. I am Michael Driscoll, President of IUP. Please stand for our national anthem performed by the IUP Alumni Virtual Band, directed and produced by IUP associate professor of music, Timothy Paul. (instrumental music) (all clapping) Please be seated. Thank you, Dr. Paul and members of IUP Alumni Virtual Band.
Winter graduates of 2020, we will not allow your success to go unnoticed. This is a safe way to honor you for now, but please know that we are looking to the future and considering ways to provide your moment in the spotlight with an audience filled with cheering friends and family. Today, I hope you are all celebrating safely and surrounded by those you love. One positive aspect of this virtual platform is that it allows IUP family from all over the world to join us.
We welcome you and thank you for joining us today. I would like to introduce and offer our appreciation to our Grand Marshal, Dr. Gian Pagnucci, who led the processional. (all clapping) Later in the program, you will hear remarks from the others seated on the stage. It is now my honor to introduce Sam Smith, chair of the IUP Council of Trustees, and vice chair of the State System of Higher Education Board of Governors. Please welcome Sam Smith.
(all clapping) - Thank you, Dr. Driscoll. On behalf of the Council of Trustees and the Board of Governors, I'm pleased to be a part of this program today. And we think a lot about student success. And student success is something that leads to the university's success. And your graduation today, it's a measure of that success.
So thank you for your hard work and your perseverance in this most difficult year. But a real measure of success is really not what you have done over the past several years, but what you're going to do next. And I want to thank you for choosing IUP and allowing us to be a part of your life.
Next, I want you to take what you've learned and apply it to your family, your job, your community, and your country and hope that you will make those things, your company, yourself, your community, your country, better to tomorrow than it is today. With that, I want to say congratulations. And I want to introduce the IUP Council of Trustees, who in their own words is just going to give you another quick congratulations. Thank you. - Well, graduates, you've already done a remarkable thing, completing your degree in 2020.
If you could do that, you can do anything. So go out there and make this world a better place. - Congratulations.
I wish you happiness and all the success on this next stage of your journey. - Congratulations on a job well done. I want to wish you the very best on your future endeavors. Good luck. - I'd like to offer sincere congratulations and best wishes for many years of happiness and success as you graduate from IUP.
- I was where you are 19 years ago but reached that milestone in my own life without facing the unprecedented challenges that you have. Congratulations to you on your success, particularly, in these challenging times, the world is your oyster and I wish you the very best in your future success. - [All] Congratulations. - Thank you, Mr. Smith and members of the IUP cCouncil of Trustees. (all clapping) Our graduate student speaker, Marvin Eugene Hobson, has earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in English, literature and criticism.
Dr. Hobson is an associate professor of English at Indian River State College and lives in Fort Pierce, Florida. It is my pleasure to share recorded remarks from Marvin Hobson. - Thank you so much for inviting me here today. I want to say a special greetings to President Driscoll, the entire IUP faculty and administration, and especially to my advisor, Dr. Williamson,
for all of his work and support throughout my time here at IUP. And to the class of 2020, December and January of 2021, we did it. Congratulations. We graduated even in the middle of a global pandemic during tumultuous times, such as a tumultuous presidential election, social injustice, the loss of loved ones, through all of that, we still did it and we prevailed. Now, even though I'm a little biased here today, I believe that this class can do anything that we put our minds to. And that this is the best class that IUP has ever graduated.
And I must thank for all of this time that I've had here, I must thank God for providing this opportunity to me because I'm the youngest of eight children between my parents. That's right, eight children. And the first and only to graduate from college. So I share this moment with many people. This is not just my moment. I share this with my entire family and those who supported me along the way.
And I'm sure that you do as well. You're sharing this moment with all of those supporters because I certainly did not and neither did you get here or get to this point alone. We did not get here on our own. And fellow graduates, let's acknowledge those wonderful family members and friends who have guided us along the way.
I'm sure that some of you have strong and courageous mothers just like mine, Barbara Jean Riddick, who left the cotton and tobacco fields of Colerain, North Carolina, during the great migration to come to Long Island, New York, to work in factories and in shops just to provide for a better life for me and our family. Or maybe you're like my deceased father, a truck driver who hauled horses all around the country in order to make a better life and to provide for our family as well. Or maybe like some of my cousins like Joyce and Shirley, who supported me with meals and prayers and rides, and so much other support that I would not, I would certainly not be here without them. And I know that some of you may be hard pressed to find a spouse like mine, Mrs. Hobson, who has been so tolerant throughout these years, and has dealt with me being away from the home in order to read papers and to grade papers and to do research. Holding together our family and our home while I did all these things.
And traveled to Pennsylvania for three summers in a row in order to complete this doctorate. Or maybe you have children like my daughter, Shayla, who sacrificed precious time with her father. I know that you all have family members such as this. So because of their efforts and hard work, we stand here today. We stand as college graduates. In fact, I stand on the broad shoulders of the slave, and of the sharecropper, and of the domestic, and of the industrial workers, the migrant workers, the blue collar workers from my family who paved the way for me.
And if IUP has taught me anything through my research and endeavors, they've taught to value and respect the voices of the unheard, the least of those, the poor, the widow, the single mothers, the outcast, and the marginalized. Not to remember them as subjects just to be pitied or researched but to recognize and value their knowledge, which appears in the language they use even if it's Ebonics or the black vernacular. To remember the art that they create and the thoughts that they have. But no matter how powerful or pious, no matter how minor or marginalized, of course, no one is perfect. No one escapes criticism.
And that criticism should lead to self-reflection and self-evaluation, which in turn can help us all to become better human beings. IUP graduating class of 2020 and winter 2021, as we move into a new year, we are met with both great possibilities, and of course, possibilities of a better future. But we are also faced with great challenges.
Because of our accomplishments though, I feel ready to take on 2021 with confidence, to explore and grow as a professional, to serve and support students who just need an opportunity to begin and to soar, to provide opportunities to communities of color and to my community at large. Graduates, let's use what we have learned here at IUP to help develop and create a more perfect union. And let's start in the places where we work and where we serve, wherever that may be. Use your influence, your knowledge, your positions, and relationships to restore confidence in science, decency, and truth. Once again, I am so honored to be here and I thank you all for listening to me and I am honored to be an IUP graduate. - Thank you.
And congratulations, Dr. Hobson. (all clapping) Our undergraduate speaker, Paige Nicole McLaughlin, has earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Interdisciplinary Dance Arts, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Speech, Language, Pathology and Audiology. Ms. McLaughlin is a Deans Merit Scholarship recipient. In addition to several achievement awards for academic excellence and outstanding achievement in dance, please welcome Paige McLaughlin.
(all clapping) - Good morning graduates, families, faculty and administrators. First, I would like to acknowledge what an honor it is to be chosen to speak here before you. The experience I've had over these last few years, the memories made, the time spent with friends, old and new, and the ideas explored with the help of our outstanding faculty, I will cherish my entire life.
I've been given more opportunities than I ever could have imagined, and I'm thankful for each one of them. But today is not about any one of us, it is about all of us. To my fellow members of the class of 2020, congratulations. We've all displayed incredible perseverance to get here.
And I know at times it didn't seem like we would, but we did. Even if it was not in the way we were expecting. The class of 2020 isn't like other graduating classes.
We were the class that was inspired. We were inspired to overcome unique hardship in order to continue our academic studies. We were faced with COVID-19, a generation-defining pandemic, which forced us to adapt and find ways to recreate the normal college experience. We were inspired to find new ways to keep in touch with our friends. We created Zoom parties, extra long phone calls and socially distant car dates. These relationships are what make life full, full of love, full of laughter and full of humanity.
We are by nature, communal beings who require the constant presence of those who cherish most, friends, family, classmates, and faculty. Despite a pandemic which necessitates our physical distance, we were inspired to find ways to still fulfill that highest of human desires. At times, it felt like there was hardly any distance between us at all. We were inspired to find new hobbies.
Some of us took up yoga. Some of us jumped right into our careers and some of us finished five Netflix shows in one month. The class of 2020 is the class that will be known for our ability to adapt to unforeseen circumstances without batting an eyelash.
We were inspired to use our voices, to make ourselves heard. We used our voices in an election year. Certainly, the most important one of our lives this far, perhaps, the most important one we will ever participate in. Regardless of what side we were on, we made ourselves heard and we showed our other generations that we will not be silent.
We used our voices when changes made by the system resulted in difficult and unfortunate decisions that affect the people in community we have come to love here at IUP. We continue to use our voices to fight for basic human rights that are threatened every day. And we'll continue to do so beyond the borders of this campus, whether in our careers or in our personal lives. Not only were we inspired, but we inspired the people around us. We helped our professors adjust to ever-changing circumstances in an unpredictable time. We inspired them to want to learn a brand new way of teaching.
One that none of them ever imagined they would have to do. It was our deep desire to learn which inspired their willingness to adapt. The class of 2020 is resilient, unique, creative, and driven, but we're not done. Now, it is our job to inspire the next class of 2021 and the next generation. Congratulations class of 2020.
(all clapping) - Thank you, Ms. McLaughlin. (all clapping) In a lasting tradition that continues today, the music program at IUP has always been a core strength, and we are proud of it. Its ensembles have toured internationally. Please enjoy a musical selection performed by the Legacy Brass Ensemble.
They will play "El Gato Montes" by Penella. (instrumental music) - Thank you, IUP Legacy Brass Ensemble. I'm Tim Moerland, provost and vice president for academic affairs. It's a privilege to congratulate each of you today. You're joining us from all over the United States, and in fact, from all over the world.
As President Driscoll said earlier, we look at this as a celebration of your achievements but it's not the last celebration. I look forward to a time when we can do this face-to-face and I can shake your hand and congratulate you in person. Today, you and your families and friends can be proud. I want you to enjoy this accomplishment but I also must remind you that because of your distinction, you have a greater burden to bear. You will be called upon to put your knowledge to use in your chosen field and to help solve the many problems facing our nation and world.
I'm confident that your experiences at IUP have prepared you well for this challenge. And I look forward to hearing of your many accomplishments in the years to come. - I am Curt Scheib, Dean of the College of Fine Arts. Ms. McLaughlin, please rise.
President Driscoll, I have the honor of presenting Paige Nicole McLaughlin for the Bachelor of Arts degree. - By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Council of Trustees of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and on the recommendation of the faculty and your dean, and subject to the completion of all degree requirements, I confer upon you the degree of Bachelor of Arts. You may now move your tassel to the left side. Please come forward to receive your diploma.
(all clapping) - I am Hilliary Creely, Interim Dean of the School of Graduate Studies and Research. President Driscoll, I have the honor to present the recipients of master's degrees within Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. - Thank you, Dean Greely.
By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Council of Trustees of Indiana University of Pennsylvania and the Board of Governors of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and on recommendation of the faculty and graduate dean, and subject to completion of all degree requirements, I confer upon you the degree of Master of Business Administration or Executive Master of Business Administration as earned. (gentle music) - [Announcer] Ayodeji Bello. Jeremy Clark. Alorah Marie Colwell.
Jeremy Ferkatch. Matthew Gazdag Melvin N. Green. Ruishen Guo. Charles Layton. Jerome McCray.
Lauren Mitnik. Christopher Rafferty. - Hello.
I am Geofrey Mills, Interim Dean of the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. President Driscoll, I have the honor to present the candidates for the bachelor's degrees in the academic disciplines in the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. - Thank you, Dean Mills. By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Council of Trustees of Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and the Board of Governors of Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, and on recommendation of the faculty and your dean, and subject to the completion of all degree requirements, I confer upon you the degree of Bachelor of Science.
(gentle music) - [Announcer] Turki Alqarni. Meshari Alradhan. Atheer Alruwaili. Cayla Arthurs.
Tanner Barr. Devin Campbell. Marcel Carter. Jessica Cochran.
Sarah Crownover. Bradley Dadig. Michaela Duez. Steve Dunlap.
Eric Geissler. Brett Grombley. Brooke Gromley.
Alexander Habjan. Shawn Haines. Lauren Handerhan. Hassan Howsawi. Larry Jones. Jordan Kartsotis.
Morgan Kelly. Kervens Pierre. Holly Prato. Michael Rachlin. Caitlin Reitz. Maria Sharp.
Danielle Smith. Daniece Wade. Thao Dinh Webb. Logan Weiss. - Hello and welcome. My name is Geofrey Mills, and I'm the Dean of the Eberly College.
And I'm here in that role to welcome this class into the community of educated men and women. We are staff, faculty and your colleagues incredibly proud of your accomplishments. You persevered through one of the most difficult times in our history. Certainly one of the most difficult periods in the 21st century. As a result, you're stronger, you're more resilient.
And while you may not realize it yet, you're equipped with invaluable skills as you go forward into your career, into your communities, into your lives and into your future. We could not be more proud of you than we are now. And while this is a difficult time, at some point COVID, the financial crisis will all be over and your future will be fully in front of you. And on that note, I'd like to conclude by wishing you a good luck certainly, but also best wishes for a long, happy and productive life.
Please stay in touch. We would like that very much. - I'm Lieutenant Colonel Dennis Faulkner, chair of the Military Science Department. I would like to congratulate all IUP graduates for the success, but especially the cadets who upon confirmation of having completed all their requirements for a military commission and having received their baccalaureate degrees, will take the oath of office. The IUP Military Science program has commissioned 2,292 officers since its inception 1950. And we continue to provide some of the best and brightest young leaders across all degree paths and professions.
I am honored to continue the legacy of this distinguished program by commissioning two more lieutenants into the United States army. And I invite you to join me on December 16th at 10:00 a.m. to watch the live stream of the official commissioning.
Please look for details on the commencement site or our IUP ROTC Facebook, Instagram pages. It is my pleasure now to introduce "America the Beautiful" performed by the IUP Alumni Virtual Band, directed by Dr. Timothy Paul. (instrumental music) - Thank you Dr. Paul and the IUP Alumni Virtual Band. (all clapping) On behalf of the university community, I want to take a moment to express my and our gratitude to everyone who has served or who is actively serving in our military. Thank you for your service. (all clapping) It is now my pleasure to welcome back Provost Tim Moerland.
- I'd like to offer my appreciation amid these difficult circumstances, and commend our faculty members for their expeditious work. No one could have predicted the pandemic would place us in a position of having to move quickly to a remote mode of teaching and learning, but, they rallied and rushed to convert classes and to continue to provide remote and hybrid education for our students. I thank them all for their dedication and terrific effort. Now it's my pleasure to introduce a video of Sarah Crownover to present the senior class gift.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the Eberly College of Business and Information Technology. - Despite the unprecedented challenges that we have faced this year, countless seniors chose to leave their mark in IUP by giving a gift to an area on campus that mattered most. These gifts touch every part of campus life, thereby, leaving a legacy that will far outlive our time here. We know that by investing in the areas of campus that mattered most to us, we are providing future students with the resources they need to do their best work at IUP, and to imagine the unlimited possibilities for their futures. The class of 2020 is committed to promoting the student experience for those who will follow in our footsteps.
Graduates who contributed to the senior class gift are recognized with a crimson and gray philanthropy cord to wear as they celebrate their accomplishments. The philanthropy cord represents our desire to leave a legacy on our alma mater. - Thank you to the members of the class of 2020 for making this worthy investment. (all clapping) I am pleased to introduce Mr. John Simpson, President of the IUP Alumni Association Board of Directors, who joins us to welcome our new graduates into the association. Mr. Simpson.
- Thank you, Dr. Driscoll. I welcome each and every one of our new graduates as members of the IUP Alumni Association. You share this wonderful university with more than 150,000 alumni who crossed this stage before you.
You will have been and always will be a member of the IUP community but today, your membership status has changed. Continue to be proud. Among our alumni are prominent journalists and policymakers, college presidents, CEOs of large corporations, owners of small businesses, inventors, scientists, educators, award-winning artists and musicians, clergy, army generals, and experts who care for the health and wellbeing of people, families, and communities. IUP alumni are known for taking what they've experienced here and making it a better world. This university is yours. Without my degree and experience at IUP, I would have never landed my dream job as a marketing manager with the Pittsburgh Steelers for the past 22 seasons as well as retiring April 4th of this year.
Never give up and always pursue your passions in your dreams. So as you embark on your life's next journey, please always remember that your relationship with IUP is symbiotic. You needed a university and it needs you.
Always remember where you came from and that you can come home again. Congratulations to you all. - Thank you, Mr. Simpson. (all clapping) On behalf of the IUP family, I would like to express our deepest appreciation to parents, families and friends who helped to support these graduates.
And especially through the difficult changes in their spring and fall semesters. I also want to express my appreciation for your patience as we've had to create alternative ways to honor your graduates. Now, I would ask that all rise for the alma mater presented by vocalist Gino Parillo, a member of the class of 2020, who is now enrolled in a master's program at IUP. Mr. Parillo is accompanied on the piano
by Dr. Henry Wong Doe, a professor of piano in the music department. ♪ To our noble Alma Mater's name ♪ ♪ We, her children, sing a joyful lay ♪ ♪ And to her a new allegiance pledge ♪ ♪ That lives beyond a day ♪ ♪ Sing, O sing, our Alma Mater's praise ♪ ♪ Hail, O hail, her colors' gleaming hue ♪ ♪ Give to her our homage and our love ♪ ♪ And to her name be true ♪ (gentle music)