Waynesburg University held its 165th Commencement exercises Sunday, April 30, honoring approximately 525 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students from the Waynesburg campus as well as the University’s additional centers in Cranberry, Monroeville and Southpointe.
Mrs. Aradhna Oliphant, President and CEO of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc., delivered the Commencement Address, “Essence of Leadership.”
“I love that this university believes so much in the concept of servant leadership, which in my experience is the only real and lasting leadership that we can offer each other,” she said.
Oliphant explored attributes of great leadership, noting that true leaders remain curiously humble, are present and get involved. These attributes, she said, have been shared by the leaders she has admired and learned from the most.
“To the class of 2017, let me say this: This wonderful, beautiful, mission-centric university has taught you to engage life with faith and spirituality at your core,” she said. “That is a gift, but it is a gift with consequences. You might even call it a sacred trust. As the theologian Henri J.M. Nouwen has put it, ‘the spiritual life does not remove us from the world but leads us deeper into it.’”
Oliphant concluded with a challenge to graduates, urging them to be the leaders who remain curious, who show up and who get involved.
“Three simple traits. May you be those leaders; may you show the way,” she said.
Taylor Garrett, a math (secondary education) graduate from Aurora, Ohio, was named valedictorian and delivered the valedictory to the University. Freddie Fields, who received a Master of Business Administration degree, represented the graduate program students.
Matthew Joseph Rinaudo, a criminal justice administration graduate from Alpharetta, Pennsylvania, was commissioned Second Lieutenant in the Army of the United States of America during the ceremony.
Prior to the commencement exercises, Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Migliore, the Charles Hodge Professor Emeritus of Systemic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary, delivered the Baccalaureate Address, “On the Road with Jesus,” during which he referenced Luke 24:13-31 and two paradoxes found within those verses.
The first, he said, is the paradox of meeting the living Lord who is right beside you on the road but who encounters you as a stranger you do not recognize.
“The second paradox goes like this: Often it is just when God seems most absent in our life that God is most profoundly present,” said Migliore, who encouraged the graduates to remain dedicated to engaging with and helping strangers throughout their lives.
“During your studies at this university, many of you have been blessed by having the experience of meeting and helping strangers in various service programs,” he said. “I hope you won’t give the practice up. There are countless strangers out there on the road waiting to walk beside you and to bless you and be blessed by you.”
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, Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or firstname.lastname@example.org