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Andrew Purves

Waynesburg University's annual Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises will be held Sunday, May 19, on the campus of Waynesburg University. The celebration will honor approximately 650 undergraduate and graduate students.

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Purves will address students and their families at the Baccalaureate service. The Rev. Dr. R. Bruce Bickel will address the Class of 2013 as the Commencement speaker.

Baccalaureate services will be held in Roberts Chapel at 11 a.m., and Commencement will be held on the front lawn of Miller Hall at 2 p.m. In case of inclement weather, the Commencement Ceremony will be held in Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse.

Graduates will have the opportunity to reflect on their personal and academic journeys as they experience the day's momentous events. The Baccalaureate and Commencement speakers will offer inspirational guidance as each member of the Class of 2013 begins a new chapter in his or her life. Families are encouraged to arrive early, as the commencement processional begins approximately 20 minutes prior to the ceremony.

Mr. Robert Hackett, president of the Bonner Foundation, will be honored during the Commencement Ceremony with a degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from Waynesburg University. Hackett's commitment to the mission of Waynesburg University, as well as his vision for a nation united by servant leaders, has earned him this distinction.

Prior to joining the Bonner Foundation as vice president in 1992, Hackett worked at the Telesis Corporation, an affordable housing developer in Washington, D.C. For the past twenty years, Hackett has been associated in various capacities with the Youth Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based non-partisan organization that researches and reports on policies and programs relating to young people.

The Rev. Dr. Andrew Purves

A Christian theologian in the tradition of the Presbyterian Church, Purves exemplifies a steadfast dedication to education, mentorship and faith that has set him apart as an inspirational leader and passionate role model.

Currently a professor of reformed theology at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Purves's concise theological insights engage and enlighten a new generation of leaders. With a deep concern for the renewal of the church and an unwavering commitment to his faith, Purves speaks regularly on matters of theological and spiritual renewal.

The Edinburgh, Scotland, native came to the United States in 1978. Soon after, he was ordained by the Presbytery of Philadelphia and served as the minister of the Hebron Presbyterian Church in Clinton, Pa., for several years, before joining the faculty at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

The passionate educator received degrees in philosophy and divinity from the University of Edinburgh, and a Master of Theology from Duke Divinity School. His Ph.D. is from the University of Edinburgh.

Bickel BruceThe Rev. Dr. R. Bruce Bickel

Bickel, the senior vice president and managing director of Private Foundation Management Services at PNC Bank, dedicates his life to improving the lives of others. The decorated naval aviator received his bachelor's degree at the United States Naval Academy and his master's degree from the United States Naval Flight School. Unfaltering in his faith, Bickel completed his Master of Divinity and Doctor of Theology at Luther Rice Seminary. He also received an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Waynesburg University in 1991.

He joined the University's Board of Trustees in 1991 and served as a member of the Board Executive Committee, as Board Secretary, as chair of the Student Services Committee and as Board Chair. He continues to serve the University as an advisor, speaker, and member of the Morris Scholar Advisory Board.

After joining PNC in 1988 as vice president, Bickel designed and implemented what is now PNC's Private Foundation Management Services and offers counseling and administration to family foundations both regionally and nationwide.

In 2000, he was the recipient of the H. John Heinz Community Service Award for his work in the Pittsburgh area. Devoted to aiding his community, Bickel serves as a board member of the Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, the National Endowment for Community Renewal and many more.

In 2003, Bickel founded the Transformational Leadership Group to train audiences in character-based leadership. As the group's president, Bickel presents internationally to a variety of industries about ethical leadership, team-building and change management.

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Contact: Ashley Wise, Communication Specialist
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Students are taking their education outside of the Greene County limits and sharing their academic achievements in other parts of the country. Waynesburg University students not only receive a sound education on campus, but many opportunities to excel beyond these grounds. Anthony Cooper, a senior pre-law major and Stover Scholar, has taken full advantage of the opportunities before him. Cooper will attend a national conference at the University of Wisconsin, La-Crosse, to present a paper he wrote. The conference is a national program to encourage intensive academic research by undergraduates.

The title of the paper is "An Invisible Theorist: Revitalizing the Philosophy of Adam Smith," and looks at the moral and economic philosophy of Smith. Smith wrote two books, one on morality, Theory of Moral Sentiments, and one on capitalism, Wealth of Nations.

“His book on morality tends to be written off or forgotten,” Cooper said. The main goal of the paper is to reintroduce his moral philosophy and prove that there can be an ethical model of capitalism.”

Cooper has worked closely alongside Dr. Lawrence M. Stratton, assistant professor of ethics and constitutional law and director of the Stover Center for Constitutional Studies and Moral Leadership.

“Mr. Cooper's profound paper strengthens public discourse by elaborating upon capitalism's basis in morality and ethics,” Stratton said. “His research assessed Smith's position in juxtaposition with social theorists Karl Marx, John Rawls and Robert Nozick, among others.”

Through the Stover Scholars Program, students have an outstanding chance to understand the U.S. Constitution, to witness the workings of government, to prepare for the responsibilities of leadership and to benefit from a generous scholarship. Although the program focuses on issues related to history, government, politics, and policy, it is open to students in every major and can provide a strong preparation for virtually any professional calling.

“Mr. Cooper is an intellectual leader of the Waynesburg University community among his peers and especially in the Stover Scholar program,” Stratton said.

Cooper defines being a Stover Scholar as being paramount to his development both as a scholar and an individual.

“It has provided me with countless opportunities to grow mentally and spiritually, and I cannot thank everyone involved with the program enough.”

Upon graduation, Cooper plans to attend graduate school and achieve a master's degree in philosophy. He hopes to one day teach at the collegiate level as well as earn a Ph.D.

“Because Anthony Cooper's paper is a thoroughgoing model of public discourse which critically examines capitalism from across the ideological spectrum, it was no surprise that his research stood out,” Stratton said.

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The Waynesburg University counseling program will partner with the American Red Cross Thursday, April 25, to host a disaster mental health training session. The event will run from 6:30 to 10 the Waynesburg University Southpointe Center.

According to Dr. Scott Tracy, Director of Graduate Programs in Counseling, specialists from the American Red Cross will train 65 first and second year counseling students in Psychological First Aid (PFA) techniques as part of the University's Counseling Trauma Survivors course.

“PFA is the first step in helping victims recover from a disaster situation,” said Tracy. “We are really fortunate that the American Red Cross has agreed to sponsor training here at Waynesburg. With recent events in Boston, Mass., and West, Texas, we are reminded that disaster can strike anywhere and at any time.”

PFA is a process that helps victims begin the coping process and is usually initiated within 24 hours of a disaster. The process involves helping individuals express the many conflicting emotions associated with a disaster and offers a mechanism for support and resource identification that helps to reduce the risk of further psychological trauma.

Participants will be certified in Psychological First Aid and will be registered in the American Red Cross database. Those registered will be able to offer initial counseling services during a disaster situation.

Dr. Mark Lepore, a nationally recognized disaster mental specialist, will be the primary trainer. He has responded to a number of large scale disaster events for the American Red Cross, namely, the events of September 11, 2001, Hurricane Katrina, super storm Sandy and the California wild fires.

“Our students will have the added benefit of hearing one of the Red Cross's leading experts in Disaster Mental Health,” said Tracy. “We want our counseling students to be prepared when the aid for assistance is made.”

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Contact: Samantha McClintock, Communication Specialist
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Waynesburg University announced the recipients of the Harry E. Gardner Service awards during the University's “Celebration of Service” chapel service Tuesday, April 16. Each year, the University selects a student and an organization that exemplify the spirit of service. The 2013 recipients for the award are Julia Paganelli and Shawn Wharrey.

Named in honor of the late Rev. Dr. Harry E. Gardner, the award recognizes the historic role of service initiated by Gardner through the Parish Project. Gardner was a professor of religion from 1936 until his passing in 1972. The award continues to serve as a reminder of Waynesburg University's commitment to faith, serving and learning.

Paganelli, a junior English (creative writing) major with sociology and Spanish minors, from Pottstown, Pa., was selected for her work with poverty and hunger issues facing Greene County. She has been a part of the Waynesburg University Bonner Scholar Program since her freshman year. She has regularly served with the Corner Cupboard Food Bank, the Greene County Food Security Partnership, the Jefferson Baptist Church, St. Ann's Good Neighbor Dinner and Bridge St. Commons. She also participated in The Pittsburgh Project and Malawi Africa mission trips during her freshman year.

Last summer, Paganelli pursued her passion of getting to know the disadvantaged and conducted qualitative research on how poverty affects teenagers in Greene County. She is currently using her skill set to publish a book on the research she performed.

Wharrey, a senior biology (pre-dental, medical, veterinary) major from Mars, Pa., was selected for his longstanding commitment to the Waynesburg University Chapter for Colleges Against Cancer and Relay for Life. Wharrey has been the University's Mini-Relay for Life co-chair for the past three years and, in that time, has assisted Relay to raise more than $60,000. He participated in three mission service trips at Waynesburg University and frequently volunteered at the Good Shepherd Veterinary Hospital.

Other individual nominees for the award included Jonathan Blatt, a junior early childhood education (special education) major from Hurricane, W.Va.; Nicholas Farrell, a junior communication (sports broadcasting/sports information) major from Lower Burrell, Pa.; Evan Kephart, a senior biblical ministry studies (religion and philosophy) major from Washington, Pa.; Brendan Omicioli, a junior biblical ministry studies (religion and philosophy) major from Gowanda N.Y.; and Greg Reinhart, a senior communication (electronic media) major from North Royalton, Ohio.

Faculty and staff may nominate junior and senior students and/or student groups who exemplify the spirit and commitment of the award. Nominations of junior or senior students may be submitted. Recipients of the award are selected by a committee comprised of Waynesburg University faculty and staff.

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Contact: Samantha McClintock, Communication Specialist
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Kyle Oland, a junior public relations major from Westminster, Md., and Nick Farrell, a junior sports broadcasting major from Lower Burrell, Pa., took home the second and third place prizes, respectively, this spring at the annual Gertrude Gordon Contest conducted by the Women's Press Club of Pittsburgh. The awards will be presented at the Club's annual dinner Saturday, April 20 at the Rivers Club in Pittsburgh, Pa.

On March 22, Oland and Farrell were given two hours to compose their feature stories after interviewing the chosen speaker of the contest. The stories were based on the information they gathered during the session. The entries were then blind-judged by a panel of three local journalists.

“I got this award because of my education at Waynesburg,” said Farrell. “The Department of Communication provides all of its students with so much information about journalism and many ways to apply what we learn in the classroom. These awards are only one of the many goals that Kyle and I hope to realize during our studies and after we graduate.”

The Gertrude Gordon Contest is held every spring at Point Park University and is open to full-time undergraduate sophomore, junior and senior college students who are either Western Pennsylvania residents or have attended a Western Pennsylvania college or university. This is the third consecutive year a Waynesburg University student has placed in the contest.

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Contact: Samantha McClintock, Communication Specialist
724.852.3384 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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