Grads' Gleaming Accomplishments Make Season Bright
– Photos by Joseph S. Yoder, public information director, and Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday
Penn College President Davie Jane Gilmour (left) with Gerri F. Luke, who – as this year's Veronica M. Muzic Master Teacher Award recipient – was a featured commencement speaker.
President Gilmour with Capt. Frederick
Capt. Scott Frederick, welding grad and alumni honoree (center), is welcomed back to Penn College by (from left) Robert M. Vaughn, assistant professor of welding; Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer; Carolyn R. Strickland, assistant vice president for academic services; David R. Cotner, dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies; Nathan D. Smyth, an assistant dean of industrial, computing and engineering technologies; and welding instructor Michael J. Nau.
The president joins the family of Christopher J. Ginter, presented with the young man's posthumous degree in landscape/horticulture technology: plant production emphasis.
A Christmas tree rises toward the Community Arts Center loge, towering over the commencement traffic outside the auditorium.
A last-minute confidence builder
The platform party prepares for the procession.
A crowd forms around Eric J. Palanko, who, in addition to representing his class, received the President's Award for leadership to the college.
A student responds to support from overhead.
Achievement on parade
Paul L. Starkey, vice president of academic affairs/provost, recaps the accomplishments of 2013 Master Teacher Gerri F. Luke.
President Gilmour invites graduates and supporters alike to share their graduation thoughts and photos through social media.
Gerri F. Luke shares the five themes that jelled from her recent survey of alumni advice for this year's graduates: connections and networking, challenges and persistence, communication and respect, continuous learning, and reflection.
Elliott Strickland, chief student affairs officer, introduces the student speaker.
Class representative Eric J. Palanko encourages each of his graduating colleagues to "be a first-rate version of yourself rather than a second-rate version of anyone else."
U.S. Army Capt. Scott M. Frederick, an alumni honoree, urges the Class of 2013 to appreciate Penn College as "a vehicle that catapults you into success."
State Sen. Gene Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township,chairman of the Penn College Board of Directors, authorizes the conferral of degrees and certificates.
A presidential turn of the tassel makes it official.
A military veteran among the day's graduates stands to be acknowledged by an appreciative audience.
Joined by family members, Rose M. Ginter accepts a degree on behalf of her late son, Christopher J.
President Gilmour and Sen. Yaw congratulate the day's final graduate, student speaker Eric J. Palanko.
Paul E. Mach, assistant professor of hospitality management/culinary arts, adds his traditional touch of holiday flair.
Graduates clearly enjoy their big day.
In his first commencement since returning to Penn College as assistant dean of sciences, humanities and visual communications: programs, Thomas C. Heffner (left) congratulates Jason D. Matula, a graphic communications management major from Bethlehem.
Kay E. Dunkleberger, coordinator of disability services, lends a hand to Jernae A. Drummond, of Williamsport, graduating in human services.
Registrar Dennis L. Dunkleberger explains procession procedure to students.
A mirror in the hotel ballroom provides a convenient opportunity for 11th-hour adjustments.
Paula M. Fisher, graduation assistant in the Registrar's Office, helps a soon-to-be graduate during her final commencement check-in before retirement.
Jordan R. Sterrett, a hospitality management major from Bellefonte, adorns her headgear with gratitude.
Faculty member Daniel K. Christopher poses with health information technology graduates Ashley M. Lynch, of Montgomery (left), and Tara M. Powell, of Burgettstown.
Hustling to beat the raindrops, the procession passes through the festively decorated Genetti Hotel lobby.
Earning a degree in technology management, Ryan M. Enders – the 2012-13 president of the Student Government Association – enters the auditorium.
The Arts Center marquee offers congratulations in addition to shelter.
Waiting to be admitted to the auditorium, a proud photographer snaps the West Fourth Street procession.
Flanked by banners from Penn College's six academic schools, a projection screen helps attendees watch the proceedings.
A new graduate is inundated with balloons, flowers and a whole lot of love.
An isolated moment of joy, stolen in the crush of the crowd
A family portrait, lovingly captured
A graduate collects her thoughts (and some proud grins from well-wishers) after the ceremony.
The courtyard just west of the theater was a popular spot to meet up with family and friends.
With a little help from his friends, a new alumnus is hoisted in triumph.
Sharing the occasion with a young fan
Uncontainable happiness carries the day.
Paul A. McGinn, a business administration: marketing concentration graduate from South Williamsport, celebrates with his family.
As the sprinkles begin, friends carve out space beneath the marquee ...
... then instantly make sure the moment has been properly preserved.