Waynesburg University held its annual Commencement exercises Sunday, May 18, honoring approximately 600 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.
Laura E. Ellsworth, a partner at Jones Day and vice chair of the board of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, delivered the Commencement Address, during which she shared personal stories and words of wisdom from inspirational leaders including Mother Theresa and Maya Angelou.
Ellsworth urged graduates not to be afraid of failure, reminding them that people who have failed have learned to overcome obstacles.
“Failure makes us stronger and better,” she said. “It’s up to us to choose how we are going to learn from it.”
She also reminded graduates that every individual has the ability to bring something unique to the floor, no matter how junior or how senior they are.
“This is an obligation,” Ellsworth said. “The pace of change is astronomical, and it provides great opportunity. You have gifts to give.”
The following graduates were named valedictorians:
- Kaitlyn Grace Berkebile, an early childhood education major from Friedens, Pa.
- Alyssa Brooke Crile, an early childhood education major from Washington, Pa.
- Daniel Vincent Czajkowski, a criminal justice administration major from Frederick, Md.
- Corin Rae Schipani, a digital design major from Duquesne, Pa.
- Hannah Michelle Szymanik, an early childhood education major from Mount Holly Springs, Pa.
Czajkowski delivered the valedictory to the University on behalf of the valedictorians. Elizabeth Hardy represented the graduate program students.
Two graduates, Samuel A. Lombardo, a criminal justice administration major from Canonsburg, Pa., and Ryan E. Walters, a finance major from Pleasant Unity, Pa., were commissioned Second Lieutenants in the Army of the United States of America during the Commencement ceremony.
Prior to Commencement exercises, Rev. Thomas M. Hall II, senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Pittsburgh, delivered the Baccalaureate Address, “Where Have All the Heroes Gone?” to graduates and their parents, during which he referenced Luke 8:26-39.
He urged graduates to let God step into their lives so that they can live out His calling.
“Heroes say ‘I will be who God calls me to be,’ in a world where others say ‘Be all you can be,’” Hall said.
He quoted Saint Catherine of Siena, stating, “Be who God wants you to be, and you’ll set the world on fire.”
Waynesburg University awarded the Doctor of Nursing Practice degree, the Master of Arts degree, the Master of Business Administration degree, the Master of Education degree, the Master of Science in Nursing degree, the Bachelor of Arts degree, the Bachelor of Management and Leadership degree, the Bachelor of Science degree, the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree, the Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology degree and the Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree.
To view photos from Baccalaureate and Commencement, visit www.waynesburg.edu/2014grads.
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