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 Gov. Rendell to Address SRU's May 8 Commencement: 840 to Graduate 




Contact: K.E. Schwab  -- 724-738-2199;  e-mail:

For a photo of Gov. Rendell: CLICK HERE

May 8 Event Set –


           SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell will be the speaker when Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania holds its 115th spring commencement, presenting diplomas to 30 doctor of physical therapy graduates, 112 master’s degree recipients and more than 700 undergraduates at 11 a.m. May 8 ceremonies.

          Commencement will be held in N. Kerr Thompson Stadium, with no tickets required. (The ceremony will be moved to Morrow Field House in the event of inclement weather with tickets, previously provided to graduating seniors, required for admission.) SRU Interim President Robert Smith will preside and confer all degrees.

           Rendell was inaugurated as the commonwealth’s 45th governor Jan. 21, 2003, and serves as chief executive of the nation’s fifth most populous state overseeing a $21 billion budget. In his first actions, he presented “The Plan for a New Pennsylvania” which is designed to return $1.5 billion to taxpayers and gives homeowners an average of 30 percent in tax relief.  His plan also works to close the resource gap between school districts while at the same time investing up to $1.25 billion annually to fund proven programs that boost student achievement within three years.

    He also outlined an economic stimulus program to invest nearly $2 billion in bonds and loan guarantees to leverage an additional $5 billion in private investment in economic development projects across the state.

           From 1992 through 1999, Gov. Rendell served as the 121st mayor of the Philadelphia. Before serving as mayor, he had twice been elected district attorney of Philadelphia. Among his accomplishments as mayor, Rendell eliminated a $250 million deficit, balanced the city's budget and generated five consecutive budget surpluses.

    Rendell, who served as general chair of the Democratic National Committee during the 2000 presidential election, has been active in the community through a variety of board memberships on boards. He also teaches two government and politics courses at the University of Pennsylvania where he is a graduate, and he holds a juris doctorate from Villanova Law School. He is a U.S. Army veteran.

 He is married to Marjorie O. Rendell, a judge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

 Dr. Robert Marcus, chair of the SRU Council of Trustees will bring greetings from the trustees, and Dr. William F. Williams, provost and vice president for academic affairs, will present the candidates for their degrees and the  university will posthumously award Rose Palmer of Ellwood City a diploma. The SRU Army ROTC unit will present the flags, and Lt. Col. William Bialozor, head of the ROTC department, will deliver the oath of office to nine graduates being commissioned as second lieutenants. In addition, William G. Kirker, president of the SRU Alumni Association, will induct the graduates as member of the association.

    Music for the ceremony will be provided by the SRU Brass Quintet, and Kathryn D. Miller as organist. Glenna Cypher, a graduating music major from Evans City, will present the national anthem, and Michael Sypien of Pittsburgh, Christopher Keiper of Beaver Falls, Jeff Frankenstein of Moon Township, and Mark Erickson of New Wilmington will lead the singing of the SRU Alma Mater.

  A reception for all graduates and their guests will follow the ceremony in the University Union.

PN, PgN, WPN, PR, PT –              Gov. Rendell photo available at

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