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 SRU graduates 'go green' for May commencement ceremony 




April 30, 2010

CONTACT: K.E. Schwab


SRU graduates 'go green' for May commencement ceremony


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University will award 1,222 diplomas to graduates in two commencement exercises May 8 in Morrow Field House. The graduates will wear the traditional black regalia, but this year it will be "green" and will keep 28,106 plastic bottles from going into landfills.

            "At SRU there is a continuing effort in promoting the concept of sustainability. We have a master's-level program in the subject, and we work constantly to make students aware of the need to reduce waste. So we thought it was just a good idea to make use of 'green' gowns," said Joe Flynn, manager of the SGA Bookstore. Each gown is made of 100 percent post-consumer materials and requires 23 recycled plastic bottles to produce. "We think we are the first Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education university to fully make use of the green gowns."

            "Anyone examining the gown will be hard-pressed to notice a difference, except the green gowns might be slightly lighter," Flynn said. The mortar boards are also made of recycled materials, except for the tack that holds the tassel in place.

The University will award 1,019 undergraduate degrees and 203 masters and doctoral level degrees. Tickets, distributed to the graduates, are required for admission.

SRU's morning ceremony begins at 10:30 and features graduates from the College of Health, Environment and Science, the College of Humanities, Fine and Performing Arts and those in Graduate Studies, including 47 students receiving doctorates in physical therapy. 

            At 2 p.m., the University will present diplomas to graduates from SRU's College of Business, Information and Social Science and the College of Education.

            "This is the second year we have hosted two commencement ceremonies," said Linda Quidone, commencement coordinator. "We found that with an early-May graduation and the threat of bad weather that brings, scheduling commencement indoors is just a better idea." 

            During the morning ceremony 632 diplomas will be awarded, 590 will be presented in the afternoon. Five Army ROTC cadets will take the oath of office as second lieutenants.

            Robert Smith, SRU president, will lead both events, with Robert Taylor, Esq., chair of the SRU Council of Trustees, bringing greetings to the graduates and guests from the council. Bonnie Lukasik, a 1963 SRU graduate and president of the SRU Alumni Association, will induct the graduates as members of the association.

            A reception for graduates and their guests will be from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the University Union. Morning graduates should attend following their ceremony. Afternoon graduates should attend before their commencement. 

            The Russell Wright Alumni House and Conference Center will carry a live video feed of the ceremonies for those unable to obtain tickets, those with disabilities or those with young children.

            Commencement rehearsal will be at 1:30 p.m. May 7 in Morrow Field House.


Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.

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