SRU readies for Dec. 15 winter commencement ceremony


graduates sitting during commencement in the spring

Dec. 4, 2018

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - More than 575 Slippery Rock University students are eligible to participate in the University's winter commencement ceremony at 11 a.m., Dec. 15 inside Morrow Fieldhouse.

The University will award 457 undergraduate degrees, 111 master's degrees and eight 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.

This will be the inaugural commencement for both the president and grand marshal.

Armand Policicchio, Slippery Rock University associate professor of Asian studies and the chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, is the 2018 University Grand Marshal. He succeeds Alan Levy, professor of history, who served for the past two years. Policicchio has been a faculty member at SRU since 1981. He teaches Introduction to Asian Civilizations, Pre-Modern East Asia, Samurai through Film and Women in Asia. He has earned degrees from St. Vincent College, Seton Hall University and the University of Pittsburgh.

William Sigmund, professor of biology, will act as the faculty marshal. He received a bachelor's degree from Kent State University and a doctoral degree from Indiana University, Bloomington. He also serves as the University coordinator for the Pennsylvania Junior Academy of Science meeting at SRU.

Student marshals will include:

• Shane Parson, a safety management major from Slippery Rock, representing the College of Business.
• Lindsay Westwood, a secondary education-French (K-12) major from Irwin, representing the College of Education.
• Brianna Skiles, a biology major from Beaver Falls, representing the College of Health, Environment and Science.
• Zachary Horner, a criminology-criminal justice major from Slippery Rock, representing the College of Liberal Arts.
• Auburn Restino, a secondary education: history major, representing Graduate Studies.

Alaysha Matronia, a health care administration and management major from Canton, Ohio, will be the University flag bearer.

SRU President William Behre will open the ceremony with welcome remarks, and Jeff Smith, chair of the SRU council of trustees, will bring greetings from the council. Behre also will deliver the commencement address.

Philip Way, provost and vice president for student affairs, 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 Behre.

Lt. Col. Joseph Richey, professor of military science and head of SRU's Army ROTC program, will confer the oath of office to Evan Razzano, a political science major from Beaver, and induct him into the U.S. Army as second lieutenant.

SRU's Army ROTC unit will 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.

Overflow seating for individuals that do not have tickets for the Field House is available at the Alumni House and the Advanced Technology and Science Hall Auditorium. The ceremony will be live streamed via the internet. To connect, visit

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 |