SRU readies for Dec. 16 winter commencement ceremony


Graduates taking picture

Dec. 4, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - While it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go, it's a safe bet that it's going to look a lot more like a graduation ceremony inside Slippery Rock University's Morrow Fieldhouse at 11 a.m., Dec. 16.

At that time, the culmination of four or more years of hard work, countless cups of coffee and slices of pizza, and more research papers than most care to remember will come to an end as nearly 550 SRU students will cross the commencement stage.

Rehearsal for the event is Dec. 15 at 1:30 p.m., also at Morrow Field House.

The University will award 425 undergraduate degrees, 125 master's degrees and five doctoral degrees.

Tickets are required for admission with doors opening at 9:30 a.m. All graduates have received their allotted tickets for distribution to friends and family.

Alan Levy, professor of history, will serve as grand marshal opening and closing the ceremony. Levy received his undergraduate degree from Washington and Jefferson College ('73) and his masters ('74) and doctoral degrees ('79) from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

A member of the SRU faculty for the past 31 years, Levy is the author of several books on various topics in American history, including: "Tackling Jim Crow," a study of the origins, breakdowns, and legacies of racial segregation in professional football that was the basis for the 2011 CBS documentary, "Third and Long."

Robert Arnhold, professor of physical and health education, will act as the faculty marshal. He received a bachelor's degree from Temple University; a master's degree from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse; and a doctoral degree from Texas Women's University. Arnhold's research focuses on how to promote physical activity for people with disabilities.

Student marshals will include: Steve Dobbins, a finance major from Baden, and Heather Toth, a safety management major from Douglassville, representing the College of Business; Kelly Holzberger, an athletic training major from Lagrangeville, New York, and Hannah Schmidt, a geography major from Slippery Rock, representing the College of Health, Environment and Science; Jessica Bodack, an early education and special education major from Pittsburgh, and Alyxis Kimmel, a secondary education major from Jackson Center, representing the College of Education; Alec Colpo, a history major from Evans City; and Blake Kramer, a political science major from Canonsburg, representing the College of Liberal Arts; Samantha Wolfley, a criminal justice major from Lewiston; and Courtney Wurst, a technology for online instruction major from Erie, representing Graduate Programs.

Hanna Smith, an early childhood education major from Aliquippa, will be the University flag bearer.

SRU Interim President and Provost Philip Way will open the ceremony with welcome remarks, and William McCarrier, chair of the SRU council of trustees, will bring greetings from the council.

Way will join Lawrence Shao, dean, College of Business; Keith Dills, dean, College of Education; Jerry Chmielewski, dean, College of Health, Environment and Science; and Dan Bauer, dean, College of Liberal Arts, in presenting the graduates for their degrees, which will be officially conferred by Way.

Lt. Col. Joseph Richey, professor of military science and head of SRU's Army ROTC program, will confer the oath of office to Jacob Fiscus, a criminology-criminal justice major from Sharon and induct him into the U.S. Army as second lieutenant.

SRU's Army ROTC unit will also present the colors to open the ceremony.

Don Huddart, a 1987 SRU graduate and member of the SRU Alumni Association, will induct the graduates into the association.

The SRU Chamber Brass will provide music for the ceremony.

The SRU Men's Quartet will sing the "Star-Spangled Banner" and lead the singing of the "SRU Alma Mater."

A reception for graduates and their guests will follow in the GrassTex area of the field house immediately after the ceremony.

Additional information, including guest instructions, special needs seating, transportation, parking and lodging is available at or by phoning 724.738.2849.

MEDIA CONTACT: Robb King | 724.738.2199 |