Edinboro University celebrated the academic success of 452 undergraduate and graduate students — including six local students — during a Fall 2019 Commencement ceremony on Dec. 14. 

President Dr. Guiyou Huang presided over the undergraduate ceremony at 10 a.m. in McComb Fieldhouse and the graduate ceremony at 2 p.m. in Louis C. Cole Auditorium – Memorial Hall.

In his first commencement ceremony as president, Dr. Huang noted that commencement is the most important day in the life of a university community – an ending to the hours spent studying, cramming for exams and finishing papers. But also a beginning.

“It is the beginning of new careers, adventures and experiences as you pursue your paths beyond the Edinboro community,” said Huang, who became president in July. “It is the beginning of the next phase of your life where I am confident you will contribute to your professions and society.”

President Huang, who assumed the presidency on July 1, recognized 452 students during EU’s commencement ceremonies. He conferred associate and bachelor’s degrees upon 257 undergraduates during the morning ceremony and master’s degrees upon 195 graduate students in the afternoon.

The local graduates, along with their respective degrees, included:

• Victoria Cool, of Corry, Bachelor of Arts History.

• Meghan Heil, of Corry, Master of Education Special Education.

• Jennilee Ostrander, of Corry, Master of Education Educational Leadership.

• Nathaniel Smith, of Corry, Bachelor of Arts Political Science.

• Charles Kennedy, of Corry, Associate of Arts AA-Human Services-Social Services.

• Courtney Behe, of Spartansburg, Bachelor of Science Psychology.

Lucas Hershelman delivered the student address in front of nearly 200 undergraduate students present for the ceremony.

“Some of you will go off to work for major corporations like Amazon, Google or Disney. Others will stay closer to home and help run the family business,” he said to the December Class of 2019. “Those of you who are like me will head to graduate school where we will continue to develop our skills, our relationships and our purpose. Whatever you do next is going to be OK, and you’re going to be OK no matter what you do.”

Hershelman, who graduated cum laude and also earned minors in Journalism and Public Relations, addressed his peers and discussed how he overcame obstacles to achieve his goals.

A lot of people look at Edinboro University and simply see bagpipes and plaid,” said Hershelman, who plans to seek an MBA at Edinboro in the spring semester. “I also think of Edinboro as a place where your professors showed you the path to great opportunities, family and friends stood by your side and the support you found here truly made this a place for those who strive.”

Additional speakers for the undergraduate ceremony included Kyle Hurysz, who serves as the student trustee on the Edinboro University Council of Trustees, and Mark Eisert, member of the Edinboro University Alumni Association Board of Directors.

At the graduate ceremony, Erie resident Julianne Lanich, who received a Master of Education in Teacher Leadership, delivered the student address.

“We are all here today as evidence of the power and value of lifelong learning,” said Lanich, an educator in Erie’s Public Schools. “We have decided that we would never remain stagnant or complacent. We have taken risks and made sacrifices because we know that education is for the betterment of those that we serve.”

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