Bible icon Business icon Communication icon Education icon Languages icon Fine arts icon History icon International studies icon Nursing icon Social sciences icon Biology & environmental science icon Chemistry icon Criminal justice icon Engineering icon Exercise science icon Forensics icon Bachelor's to master's icon Math & computer science icon Professional preparation icon Undergraduate minors icon Email icon Facebook icon Twitter icon LinkedIn icon Apple icon Calendar icon Diploma icon Piggy bank icon Students icon

Douglassville native named Waynesburg U. valedictorian; delivers valedictory

Kayla Ayers May 25, 2023

Gabriela Hallman, an early childhood education with special education graduate from Douglassville, Pennsylvania, was named one of three Waynesburg University valedictorians and delivered the valedictory to the Class of 2023 during the undergraduate ceremony. She is the daughter of Gregory and Natalie Hallman.

“Giving the speech for my graduating class was such an honor,” said Hallman. “I chose to speak about the little moments in life that may not seem significant but contribute to our getting to the larger moments. I wanted to remind my fellow graduates not to take the small moments for granted but to cherish them, as our life is entirely built on the small moments.”

I wanted to remind my fellow graduates not to take the small moments for granted but to cherish them, as our life is entirely built on the small moments.”

Gabriela Hallman

In her speech, Hallman shared with the graduating class, "The important truth about successful living is that we can choose to place value in the small moments and to live our lives intentionally. We are not meant to blend into the crowd but to be a city on a hill, to exude confidence, and to have a spirit of making change."

Throughout her time at Waynesburg, Hallman was involved in a number of activities and clubs on campus. She served as Christian Ministry assistant leader and Chapel worship leader, was a member of the Kappa Delta Pi Education honors society, secretary of the council for exceptional children club and co-founder of the Book Buzz.

She was also named to the Dean’s List during her four years at Waynesburg, and received the Waynesburg University Award Scholarship, Waynesburg University Impact Award and became certified as a Google Certified Educator.

A highlight for Hallman was her student teaching experience.

“I really enjoyed my student teaching experience, where I taught in a school of underprivileged children,” shared Hallman. “I taught both a life skills class as well as a first-grade class. Working with them every day was the highlight of my time at the University.”

Hallman plans to secure an elementary teaching position in the Berks or Montgomery county areas, where she can further her love of teaching. She also shared other plans for this next chapter of her life.

“I am very much looking forward to being back home and getting married in May 2024,” shared Hallman. “I am also excited about figuring out where I am going to teach and having my own classroom full of students that I can teach and encourage every day.”

Waynesburg University honored the Class of 2023 during Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 6, and Sunday, May 7, on the Lawn of Miller Hall.

More than 400 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students were honored. Commencement exercises for graduate students were held Saturday at 4 p.m., while the undergraduate ceremony was Sunday at 2 p.m.

The following students were also named valedictorians:

  • Maddison Butler, an early childhood education with special education certification graduate from Altoona, Pennsylvania.
  • Elliott Kimball, a social science-political science graduate from Hardwick, Vermont.
2023 Undergraduate Valedictorians: Hallman, Kimball and Butler
The 2023 Valedictorians: Gabriela Hallman, Elliott Kimball, Maddison Butler.