SRU’s prepares for trio of commencements


graduate celebrating

April 22, 2016

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - A contingent of more than 1,500 Slippery Rock University undergraduate and graduate students are eligible to take part in a trio of commencement ceremonies May 6-7 in Morrow Field House.

Undergraduate degrees will be bestowed upon 1,305 graduating seniors, while 283 doctoral and master's degrees will be awarded.

SRU's graduate student commencement is at 7 p.m., May 6. Doors will open at 6 p.m. No tickets are required for the graduate student commencement.

Undergraduates in the College of Health, Environment and Science and the College of Liberal Arts will graduate at 10 a.m., May 7. Doors open at 8:30 a.m. Undergraduates in the College of Business and the College of Education will graduate at 2 p.m., May 7. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. Tickets for all guests, including children, are required for both undergraduate ceremonies. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. All graduates have received their allotted tickets for distribution to friends and family.

Overflow seating (no ticket required) is available in the Alumni House, Advanced Technology and Science Hall Auditorium and the Smith Student Center Theatre. The ceremony will also be streamed live on

Michael Detlefsen, professor of mathematics, will serve as grand marshal and will open and close the ceremony.

SRU President Cheryl Norton will provide remarks. Jeffrey Smith will bring greetings from the council of trustees at the Friday ceremony and Sen. Mary Jo White, chair of the trustees, will do so at both Saturday ceremonies.

Philip Way, provost and vice president for academic and student affairs; Lawrence Shao, dean, College of Business; Keith Dills, dean, College of Education; Jerry Chmielewski, interim dean, College of Health, Environment and Science, and Eva Tsuquiashi-Daddesio, dean, College of Liberal Arts, will present the graduates for their degrees, which will be officially conferred by Norton.

Lt. Col. Jeffrey Barta, professor of military science and head of SRU's Army ROTC program will confer the oath of office to nine graduating ROTC cadets, inducting them into the U.S. Army as second lieutenants.

Receiving commissions will be:

  • David DiPasquale, a history major from Collegeville;
  • Andrew Double, a history major from Evans City;
  • Tyler Ejzak, a geography major from Harmony;
  • Richard Klumph, a health and physical education major from West Middlesex;
  • Margaret Manocchio, a criminology and criminal justice major from Kent, Ohio;
  • Tacia Mitchell, a criminology and criminal justice major from Aliquippa;
  • Jacob Spangler, an interdisciplinary studies major from Pittsburgh;
  • Alli Stauffer, a safety management major from Williamsburg, Virginia; and
  • Matthew Truesdell, a political science major from Pittsburgh.

Jennifer Willford, assistant professor of psychology and winner of the 2015-16 President's Award for Excellence in Teaching, will serve as the speaker at the May 7 morning ceremony. Susan Hadley, professor of music and winner of the 2015-16 President's Award for Scholarly and Creative Achievement, will be the speaker for the afternoon ceremony.

Lisa McCullough Holmes, a 1988 SRU graduate and member of the SRU Alumni Association, will induct the graduates into the association.

The SRU Student Brass will provide music for the ceremony.

The SRU Student Quartet will sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" and the "SRU Alma Mater."

A reception for graduate students and their guests will immediately follow the May 6 ceremony in the GrassTex area of the field house.

A reception for all undergraduate students and their guests will occur from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., May 7 in the Smith Student Center Ballroom.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 |