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Waynesburg University’s annual Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises will be held Sunday, April 30, on the campus of Waynesburg University. Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Migliore will serve as the Baccalaureate speaker, and Aradhna Oliphant will address the Class of 2017 as the Commencement speaker. 

The celebration will honor approximately 525 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from the Waynesburg campus as well as the University’s additional centers in Cranberry, Monroeville and Southpointe.

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. 

Families are encouraged to arrive early, as the Commencement processional begins approximately 20 minutes prior to the ceremony. 

Both Oliphant and Migliore will be honored during the Commencement Ceremony with honorary degrees, Doctors of Humane Letters, for the ways in which their lives and personal missions relate to the mission of Waynesburg University.

b2ap3_thumbnail_migliore.jpgRev. Dr. Daniel L. Migliore

Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Migliore is the Charles Hodge Professor Emeritus of Systemic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey, where he taught for 47 years. He is also an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

During his tenure as the Charles Hodge Professor of Systemic Theology, he also served as the Director of Doctoral Studies, Chairman of the Department of Theology and Editor of The Princeton Seminary Bulletin. Additionally, he spent time as a visiting professor of theology at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Seattle University and New Brunswick Theological Seminary.

Migliore is the author of several books, including “Rachel's Cry: Prayer of Lament and Rebirth of Hope,” (with Kathleen D. Billman); “The Power of God and the Gods of Power;” and “Faith Seeking Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Theology,” which is the bestselling theological introduction in colleges and seminaries across the United States.

In his retirement, Migliore has remained active in conducting research and writing in his academic specialization, as well as the theology and ethics of Karl Barth. He continues to preach and lecture at various congregations and conferences throughout the country.

Migliore is a member of the American Theological Society, having served as president during the 2007-08 term; a member of the Center of Theological Inquiry in Princeton; and serves on the Advisory Committee of the Center for Karl Barth Studies at Princeton Theological Seminary. 

Migliore holds a bachelor’s degree from Westminster College, a bachelor of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and a master’s degree and doctorate from Princeton University.

b2ap3_thumbnail_Aradhna-Oliphant.jpgAradhna Oliphant

Aradhna Oliphant is the President and CEO of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. (LPI), a premiere resource for community leadership identification, connection and development in Southwestern Pennsylvania. 

Deeply committed to community building, Oliphant is actively engaged with the academic, public policy, corporate and nonprofit sectors.  She serves on numerous boards and advisory boards including the national Association of Leadership Programs, The Pittsburgh Parking Authority, The Forbes Funds, Thornburgh Forum at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Advisory Committee for U.S. Global Leadership Coalition, among others. 

She was invited by Pennsylvania’s Governor Tom Wolf to serve on the steering committee that oversaw the work of the transition teams, and in 2015, she was appointed as a Commissioner for the County Government Review Commission that is constituted once every ten years to review Allegheny County’s structure and make recommendations.  

Oliphant also serves as Vice President of the International Women’s Forum of Pittsburgh and is a proud graduate of Leadership Pittsburgh XVIII – an experience that truly anchored her in the region.  

She has been recognized for her innovation and leadership as a Woman of Distinction by several area civic organizations and most recently in 2015 as one of the top twenty-five most influential people in the region by Pittsburgh Magazine.

Born and raised in India, Oliphant holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Rutgers University and a Master of Arts degree in Psychology from Bhopal University.  

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail__OR_0213.JPGWaynesburg University held its annual commencement exercises honoring approximately 550 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students Sunday, May 1.

Jessica Marie Marabello, a mathematics (secondary education) major from Pittsburgh, was named one of two valedictorians of her class and delivered the valedictory to the University. She is the daughter of Neal and Lori Marabello.

“Being named one of two valedictorians means a lot to me because I have worked very hard to achieve my 4.0 GPA every semester, and it is rewarding to see my hard work pay off,” said Marabello. “I am proud of my great accomplishment, and I am so thankful for my family, professors and friends who have helped me to get here.”

During her studies at Waynesburg, Marabello was a member of Kappa Delta Pi International Honor Society in Education and involved in Kappa Mu Epsilon National Mathematics Honor Society. She also was a member of DRUS Honorary Society for Women and was a mathematics tutor for the Knox Learning Center Tutoring Program for four years.

Active in service, Marabello attended three University service trips to the Dominican Republic, Costa Rica and Puerto Rico and participated in local service initiatives. She was a recipient of the A.B. Miller Scholarship, the Class Scholarship Award and the Outstanding Academic Excellence Award.

“I feel very well prepared for my future and have learned a lot from my student teaching experiences in actual classrooms because Waynesburg provided me with those opportunities as early as my freshman year,” said Marabello. “My Waynesburg education has taught me to rely on God and has given me the confidence I need to pursue my passion for teaching.”

Marabello is actively seeking a substitute teaching position for the remaining school year. She also plans to obtain a master’s degree in the near future. 

Kayla Diane Bleckley, a creative writing major with a minor in psychology from Latrobe, was also named valedictorian.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail__OR_0479_20160501-213709_1.JPGWaynesburg University held its 163rd Commencement exercises Sunday, May 1, honoring approximately 550 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

D. Raja, co-founder and chairman of Computer Enterprises, Inc. (CEI), delivered the Commencement Address, “What’s Important in Life?,” during which he shared the story of his own humble beginnings, his evolution into a servant leader and the importance of reputation. 

“Reputation is the basis of leadership, no matter the job,” he said. “And reputation is the reflection of your character. Well, your character is only known to you. But your reputation is the reflection of your character through your words, actions and deeds.”

He also encouraged gradates, assuring them that everyone faces adversity at times, and that success can still be achieved through their reaction to that adversity.

“The older I get, the more convinced I am that success in life is not so much what happens to us, it is how we respond to what happens to us. We have the power to choose our response.”

b2ap3_thumbnail__OR_6804.JPGThe following graduates were named valedictorians:

  • Kayla Diane Bleckley
  • Jessica Marie Marabello

Marabello delivered the valedictory to the University on behalf of the valedictorians. Lance Hyde, a graduate of the Master of Business Administration Program from Cranberry Township, Pa., represented the graduate program students.

Two graduates, Charles Lee Cook, a biology (pre-dental/medical/veterinary) major from Cheswick, Pa., and Aaron Berkley Palmer, a sports management major from Leesburg, Va., were commissioned Second Lieutenants in the Army of the United States of America during the Commencement ceremony.

Prior to the commencement exercises, the Rev. Dr. Richard E. Visser, a retired Baptist minister with more than 40 years of service, delivered the Baccalaureate Address, “Being Salt and Light.”

“In Matthew 5:13-16, Jesus tells His followers that they are ‘the salt of the earth’ and ‘the light of the world,’” Visser said. “In today’s brutal world, that is your calling. As salt can enhance and improve the flavor of food, you can improve the ‘flavor’ of people’s relationships and attitudes.”

b2ap3_thumbnail__OR_6567.JPGVisser suggested “four D’s” through which to be effective salt and light in today’s world: depend on God to guide and sustain you, discover your spiritual gifts, determine where you can best use your spiritual gifts and do what you can. 

The University awarded the following degrees to graduates:  Doctor of Nursing Practice, Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Master of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Management and Leadership, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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b2ap3_thumbnail__OR_0207.JPGWaynesburg University held its annual commencement exercises honoring approximately 550 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students Sunday, May 1.

Kayla Diane Bleckley, a creative writing major with a minor in psychology from Latrobe, was named one of two valedictorians of her class. She is the daughter of William and Diane Bleckley.

“To be named valedictorian alongside another extraordinarily hardworking Waynesburg University student is an honor I am blessed and privileged to receive,” said Bleckley. “Though I am extremely proud to be one of the Class of 2016 valedictorians, I consider my accomplishment a testament to the constant support and opportunities my parents have worked tirelessly to provide for me and the high quality of educators found at this institution.”

As a student, Bleckley was a staff member of Waynesburg’s literary magazine, “Muse & Stone,” most recently serving as the student executive editor. She was vice president of the University’s Upsilon Delta Chapter of Sigma Tau Delta International English Honors Society as well as a member of the Lamplighters Concert Choir and the Waynesburg University Honors Academy.

She was the recipient of the A.B. Miller Scholarship and the Margaret Bell Miller Scholarship. During her studies, she received the James E. Garvin and Caroline Parkinson Garvin Prize in Humanities in 2014, in addition to the Waynesburg University English Department Outstanding Graduating Senior Award.

“I think the liberal arts education I received at Waynesburg has been essential in helping me determine what vocation I feel called to pursue and in providing me with the resources to be successful,” said Bleckley.

Bleckley plans to obtain a master’s degree in counseling and pursue a vocation as a certified counselor.

Jessica Marie Marabello, a mathematics (secondary education) major from Pittsburgh, was also named valedictorian and delivered the valedictory to the University.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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Waynesburg University’s annual Baccalaureate and Commencement exercises will be held Sunday, May 1, on the campus of Waynesburg University. The celebration will honor approximately 520 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students. 

The Rev. Dr. Richard Edgar Visser will serve as the Baccalaureate speaker, and D. Raja will address the Class of 2016 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. 

Families are encouraged to arrive early, as the Commencement processional begins approximately 20 minutes prior to the ceremony. 

Both Raja and Visser will be honored during the Commencement Ceremony with honorary degrees, Doctors of Humane Letters, for the ways in which their lives and personal missions relate to the mission of Waynesburg University.

b2ap3_thumbnail_4-6-Visser.JPGRev. Dr. Richard Edgar Visser

Visser was ordained at the First Baptist Church in Georgetown, Massachusetts in 1962.

He has been the minister for several churches in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New Hampshire and Maine, serving at the First Baptist Church in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, until his retirement in 2003.

Since then, Visser has been in co-ministry with his wife, Rev. Carol Edwards Visser, at various churches in Pennsylvania and Maine. He is currently the resource minister, along with Carol, for the York Baptist Association and a member of the council of the American Baptist Churches of Maine (ABCOM) Institute for Ministry.

His esteemed career has led him to receive numerous awards, including the Excellence in Ministry Award from the American Baptist Churches of Pennsylvania and Delaware (ABCOPAD). Together, he and Carol were recipients of the Alderson Broaddus College Apollo Award, Gordon College Jack Good Community Service Award, Brunswick (Maine) Downtown Association Volunteers of the Year award and Greater Waynesburg Chamber of Commerce Distinguished Community Service Award.

Visser was involved with the ABCOPAD for fourteen years, as a board member and board president, in addition to being a local ministerial president and association moderator. He also served on board for the Washington Health System Greene (then Greene County Memorial Hospital), the Greene County Department of Human Services, the American Red Cross and the Community Foundation of Greene County.

Visser made a lasting impact in Greene County through his involvement with the American Baptist Church Leadership Institute (CLI) of Western Pennsylvania, of which he was the co-founder and chairmen for ten years. 

He completed two degrees at Gordon College, along with two master’s degrees at Gordon Divinity School and a Doctor of Ministry at Asbury Theological Seminary.

b2ap3_thumbnail_4-6-Raja.jpgD. Raja

In 1992, Raja launched his own consulting and project management practice, a venture that was to become Computer Enterprises, Inc., a Pittsburgh-based computer software company. He currently serves as its Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. 

Raja is past president of the Mt. Lebanon Commission, past president of TiE Pittsburgh's business mentoring roundtable, founding chair of the University of Pittsburgh Computer Science Industry Board, judge for Carnegie Science Awards for Entrepreneur categories and judge for Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. 

In addition to his entrepreneurial efforts in Pittsburgh, Raja is a constant presence in Pittsburgh politics and communication. He hosts a business- and finance-focused radio show, “The Raja Show,” on KDKA.

For his commitment to the profession and socially responsible corporate leadership, Raja was the recipient of the 2007 Smart Business Pacesetters Award for Chief Executive Officer Excellence. Raja was also recognized as Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in 2008 and the Entrepreneur of the Year by the Carnegie Science Center in 2009. He also received the Diamond Award for the Region’s Leading CEOs and Presidents for large business in 2008 from Pittsburgh Business Times.

Raja holds a master's degree in computer science from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Anna University, India.

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Ashley Wise, Assistant Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or awise@waynesburg.edu

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