MANSFIELD, PA— Two hundred and sixty seven students received degrees at Mansfield University’s 149th Commencement on Saturday, December 14 at Decker Gymnasium.
This was the first Commencement for MU President Fran Hendricks since returning to his alma mater in May.
Hendricks took a moment to honor and recognize Provost Peter Keller, who is retiring after 39 years at Mansfield. “This is the end of an era, as we recognize Dr. Keller’s lifelong service and commitment to Mansfield University, its mission and students.”
Then, recalling that he sat in Decker Gymnasium 34 years ago for his 1979 Commencement ceremony, Hendricks told today’s graduates, “Believe me when I tell you your future is bright and full of opportunities. The degree you now possess, along with the gritty determination that comes with all Mansfield University degrees, will give you the courage and confidence to reach your full potential.”
Hendricks added, “Class of 2013, in the words and wisdom of Katie Perry, ‘Boom, boom, boom, even brighter than the moon, moon, moon. It's always been inside of you and now it's time to let it through. 'Cause, baby, you're a firework. Come on, show 'em what you're worth. Come on, show 'em what you're worth.’ Class of 2013, you’re Mansfield made and Mountie strong. It’s been an honor to be your president and I welcome the opportunity to be your fellow alum.”
Marie McKee, the president of the Corning Museum of Glass (CMoG) in Corning, NY, was the speaker
McKee recounted some of the challenges she has faced during her life and career and advised the graduates to, “Know what you can do and what you can’t.And from the things you can do, know what you want to do.”
She also told them that results matter and to find their own “kitchen cabinet” made up of “people who are close to your work and will tell you the truth.”
“Our life choices are sometimes based on courage, sometimes based on fear, and sometimes the result of serendipity,” McKee said. “The key to creating the life you want is to participate actively in the process of making those choices. Take chances. Learn. Grow. Adapt. Evolve. And most of all, enjoy the journey.”
Also during Commencement, Jeffrey Howe ’04, president of the Alumni Association, gave the alumni greeting and President Joshua Gibson represented the Student Government Association. Student Trustee Zane Swanger represented the Council of Trustees and Joseph Maresco, president, represented the Mansfield University Foundation.
The MU Brass Band, conducted by Associate Professor Nathan Rinnert, and student soloist Heather Sitek provided musical accompaniment for the event. Campus Minister Courtney Hull delivered the convocation. Professor Adam Brennan served as grand marshal and Professor Lee Wright was herald.