CEREMONY ORDER OF EXERCISES
For your convenience, speaker scripts are listed below the order of exercises.
Daniel A. Wubah, Ph.D., President Presiding
MILLERSVILLE UNIVERSITY WIND ENSEMBLE BRASS
“Pomp and Circumstance – March No. 1",
Edward Elgar/Chaz Richardson & Vincent Shickora
Joseph Cernuto, D.M.A., Conductor
GAIL E. GASPARICH, Ph.D.
Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost
*THE NATIONAL ANTHEM
LED BY BRIANA SHYVER ’24
Words by Francis Scott Key
Arranged by Tom Kirkland
INTRODUCTION OF PLATFORM GUESTS
GREETINGS FROM FACULTY
ROBYN LILY DAVIS, Ph.D
Associate Professor & Chair,
Department of History, Chapter President,
GREETINGS FROM STUDENT GOVERNMENT
CAMREE L. PATTERSON ’24
President, Student Government Association
ANNOUNCEMENT OF SENIOR CLASS GIFT
ALLISON K. ROSS ’24
MOMENT OF REFLECTION
KENESTA T. MACK, Ed.D.
SALUTATION TO GRADUATES
DANIEL A. WUBAH, Ph.D.
INTRODUCTION OF COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER
JENNIFER CRAIGHEAD CAREY ’90, MM23
Partner/Attorney, Barley Snyder
PRESENTATION OF DOCTORAL DEGREE CANDIDATES
JAMES DELLE, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Graduate Studies and Adult Learning
CONFERRING OF DOCTORAL DEGREES
PRESENTATION OF MASTER'S DEGREE CANDIDATES
CONFERRING OF MASTER'S DEGREES
PRESENTATION OF ASSOCIATE AND BACCALAUREATE DEGREE CANDIDATES
CONFERRAL OF DEGREES
PRESENTATION OF CANDIDATES FOR COLLEGE OF ARTS, HUMANITIES AND SOCIAL SCIENCES
IEVA ZAKE, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
PRESENTATION OF CANDIDATES FOR COLLEGE OF EDUCATION AND HUMAN SERVICES AND SCHOOL OF SOCIAL WORK
LARA WILLOX, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Education and Human Services and School of Social Work
PRESENTATION OF CANDIDATES FOR COLLEGE OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY
MARC HARRIS, Ph.D.
Dean, College of Science and Technology
PRESENTATION OF CANDIDATES FOR LOMBARDO COLLEGE OF BUSINESS
MARC TOMLJANOVICH, Ph.D.
Dean, Lombardo College of Business
WELCOME FROM THE ALUMNI ASSOCIATION
MATTHEW OLPHIN ’95
President, Millersville University Alumni Association
*THE ALMA MATER
LED BY BRIANA SHYVER ’24
MILLERSVILLE UNIVERSITY WIND ENSEMBLE BRASS
Words by Esther E. Lenhardt, Class of 1910 and Sanders P. McComsey, Class of 1917
Music arranged by Melzer R. Porter
Wind arrangement by Dr. Joseph Cernuto
MILLERSVILLE UNIVERSITY WIND ENSEMBLE BRASS
Grand March from Aida
Guiseppe Verdi/Walter Barnes
Dr. Joseph Cernuto, Conductor
THE AUDIENCE WILL REMAIN IN PLACE UNTIL ALL GRADUATES HAVE RECESSED.
MACE BEARER: Jeri Robinson, M.F.A.
GONFALON BEARER: Duane Hagelgans, J.D.; Julie Lombardi, P.E.D.; Aaron M. Haines, Ph.D.; Robert Bookmiller, Ph.D.; Ankur Nandedkar, Ph.D.
COMMENCEMENT MARSHALS: Stacey Irwin, Ph.D., Karen Rice, Ph.D.; Janet Bertoni, Ph.D.; Bertha DeJesus, D.S.W.; Heather L. Lehman, Ph.D.; Daniel R. Albert, Ph.D.; Deborah Sigel, M.F.A.; Barry Atticks, Ph.D.; Baizhou Chen, Ph.D.; Leo Hong, Ph.D.
READER: Lowery Woodall III, Ph.D.; Jennifer Shettel, Ed.D.; Steven M. Kennedy, Ph.D.; Jeffrey Gemmell, D.A.; Brian Trout, D.B.A.
*Audience will stand, participation is voluntary.
Greetings From Faculty - Robyn Lilly Davis, Ph.D.
Good afternoon. I’m Robyn Lily Davis – professor of colonial and revolutionary American history at MU and the president of the campus chapter of our faculty union, APSCUF. I’m here today as the Millersville faculty representative to welcome our platform party, our distinguished guests, especially our graduates, and even more importantly, their loved ones. Hello. It is truly my privilege to say a few words to you this afternoon on behalf of the faculty as we mark our graduates’ important induction into the next phase of their lives – whether that be starting careers, furthering professional instruction, or pursuing advanced academic work.
So the first thing I want to say is congratulations! You did it! And we are so pleased for and so proud of you – honestly, the faculty know more than most what a sometimes-challenging road it is to pursue and complete this kind of academic and professional training. Many of you joined us just as a global pandemic emerged, disrupting everything we expected from our lives and forcing us to pivot in countless ways. Yet here you are at the end of that twisting winding journey, having done it, and done it well, ready to take your place in the bright future you’re building by your own efforts and to make our communities better and more vibrant through your many contributions. So in the midst of the pomp and hoopla of this commencement, I invite you to take a moment to savor the satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that come from having finished the job. It wasn’t always easy, I’m sure at times it didn’t even seem rational! – but you persevered and here you are, about to be recognized for conspicuous achievement.
But the next thing I want to say is thank you! Thank you for the trust you’ve placed in the faculty to educate and train you. Most of your professors are at Millersville because we value teaching, we consider it a high, indeed a noble profession, and enjoying the opportunity to work with you – in the classroom, on the stage, in the laboratory or the studio, out in the field – this work animates our creative energies, inspires us to achieve, makes our professional lives meaningful, and gives us personal fulfillment. Being your teachers and your mentors so often is the best part of our work. Thank you for letting us have that.
And that’s the final thing I want to say, to our graduates’ guests – it has been a joy to work with your loved ones! They’ve been incredible – they’ve inspired us with their imagination, their persistence, and their performances. We send them off with some regret, because frankly we hate to see them go, and with more pride and pleasure, because we stand ready to admire and applaud them as they carve out the lives of meaning and purpose that you – and we – wish for them and have helped to train them for.
Okay. A final, final word to the graduates – go get ‘em.
Greetings from Student Government Association - Camree L. Patterson '24
Thank you…. “Dr. Gasparich”
Good afternoon, Class of 2023! I want to thank you for allowing me to speak to you today on this momentous occasion.
To begin, congratulations, on this moment of your life. This is a milestone that you will cherish forever. It has been quite a journey; we have been on the past few years. We experienced a pandemic where the future was unpredictable, and the college experience was not so EPPIIC. It has been a challenging couple of years during the pandemic and now coming out of the pandemic. However, I challenge you to think about all the posiEves experiences you have had during your time at Millersville.
The pandemic has significantly impacted our college experience. We did not receive the stereotypical college experiences, like aQending orientaEon and engaging in Millersville tradiEons. We all experienced online classes, which I think we can all agree on was not the typical experience. However, it may have greatly impacted us in posiEve ways as well. This experience made us more resilient, driven, and appreciaEve individuals. Despite starting off the first couple of semesters not our typical college experience, I would say that we all had great resilience on conEnuing to move towards our goals, make connections, and accept that change is part of life which will have a posiEve impact on you for the remainder of your lifeEme. As it is evident today, where I stand in front of many soon to be college graduates, you all embraced the challenges during the difficult times. And we also became much more appreciaEve, not only of ourselves but of others. We learned how we can lean on others to support one another in hard times. These experiences may not have been that typical college experience we all thought we would experience, but I challenge you to find the posiEves in every experience.
Now that the time is almost here, where you will finally walk across the stage and become a graduate of Millersville University and obtain that degree that you worked so hard for. So, graduates, as you all embark on this new journey, I have a simple call of action for you embrace your unique journey, learn from your failures, and remember that setback are just setups for future success. And graduates, I ask that you be appreciative of everyone and every moment, always be kind, and seek the positives in every situation.
Camree L. Patterson, Class of 2024Congratulations Class of 2023! It is your time to take on the world, I know we cannot wait to see all the incredible things you will accomplish.
President, Student Government Association
Greetings from the Student Government Association
Senior Class Gift
Ms. Allison K. Ross, ‘24
We have a tradition of giving here at Millersville University. Since 1866, each graduating class has promoted a philanthropic spirit by providing students an opportunity to leave their legacy at the University they call home. The graduating class of 2023 continues this tradition by giving back to our alma mater through the programs, departments, and teams we love that have had a positive impact on our Millersville experiences.
In appreciation and recognition of our educational experience at Millersville University, The Class of 2023 resolved to contribute to the Millersville University Scholarship Fund, and other programs of personal significance.
Moment of Reflection - Kenesta T. Mack, Ed.D.
Greetings, I am honored to share this moment of reflection.
“Education has never failed me. The more I give to education the more education blankets me with opportunity, respect, with a platform that I can rise from.” When I encountered this quote by Kendall Stephens, it brought to memory, my K through 12 and college years that were guided by a devoted mother. It also reminded me of the blessings that I received from my time spent in various educational institutions all of which provided me with what I know now were door opening opportunities.
The doctoral experience at Millersville University was one of those open doors. It was truly a rewarding one. The decision to pursue this program 4 years ago at the age of 53 was a bit scary but I had no doubt it was within my reach especially when I learned that the program’s focus was poverty and technology. For most of my career I have supported students who come from communities that are underserved, unserved or inadequately served. I was eager to learn more about how poverty impacts these students’ ability to have access to learning and next level technology. The professors leading the doctoral study made a huge impression on my time at MU. They pushed me to tap into skills that I had not previously explored and what drew out of those untapped skills, was a hidden talent that I became aware of throughout the dissertation process.
Over time, many of us learn the power of a teacher. I am a beneficiary of the positive influences from teachers and I’m so grateful that in my career as an educator, I believe I have been influential and impactful to my own students, instrumental in uplifting their families and appreciated their communities. I realized over the years that students are depending on me to help figure things out. So like my own professors, because I see what students can’t see yet, they rely on me to create an opportunity where dreams are not deferred.
Lastly, I’ve discovered the significance of learning how to submit to my called assignment. But more importantly than knowing the how is understanding why submitting to your assignment is even necessary. And that is the obligation, the responsibility to pay it forward for those who look up to us, those who are waiting for us, and those whom we have yet to meet. Our inner voice, our conscience tells us that this is the right thing to do. As life goes on, we realize that inner voice comes from deep down in our soul, it speaks to us before we speak and then sometimes the spoken words are not necessary but simply the actions that complete our assignments. Although my educational journey at times unveiled a series of disappointments, delays, detours, and determination, the moment that I decided to take the road less traveled were the moments that made all the difference. Thank you and congratulations to all the graduates!
Salutation - Daniel A. Wubah
It is my honor to welcome you to the fall 2023 commencement ceremony of Millersville University. Today, we celebrate the achievements of our students who have completed the requirement to earn a degree from our university.
You are the class of 2023, a class that has shown resilience, adaptability, and courage in the face of a global pandemic that started when most of you were first year students. You have overcome obstacles, adapted to new modes of learning, and contributed to the well-being of our campus. You have demonstrated our EPPIIC values namely exploration, professionalism, public mission, integrity, inclusion, and compassion.
You represent the diversity and excellence of our institution, with students from numerous states and countries, and with so many of you being the first in your families to graduate from college. You have pursued your passions and interests in a wide range of disciplines, from education, business, and health sciences, to humanities, arts, and social sciences.
Before we start the celebration, let’s recognize those who have made it possible for you to get to this point in your lives.
First, let’s thank your families and your friends for the role they played in getting you here. Family and friends, kindly rise if you can, or wave to be recognized. Let’s give them and those who are watching online a round of applause.
We are fortunate to have loyal alumni, many of whom are proud to have their children, grandchildren, nieces, and nephews attending their alma mater. A special thank you to all our legacy families and their graduates here today.
Second, let’s thank our faculty members who walked beside our graduates on their educational journey. They have guided and assisted you in the acquisition of a holistic education that is firmly rooted in the liberal arts and sciences as well as various professions. Faculty, kindly stand up to be recognized.
As I mentioned earlier, we are here to celebrate you today and you may be wondering why? Let me address that. Receiving your degree from Millersville University after overcoming challenges that no one could have imagined when you first enrolled at this university deserves a celebration, hence this big celebration that we are having in your honor.
As you prepare to embark on the next chapter of your lives, I want to share with you some words of wisdom that have guided me throughout my career. First, never stop learning. The world is changing rapidly, and you need to keep up with the latest developments and innovations. New inventions and tools will enable us to perform functions that were unimaginable a few years ago. For example, this past Monday, IBM unveiled a quantum computer called CONDOR, which has 1,121 superconducting qubits arranged in a honeycomb pattern. You may wonder why this revelation is important so let me digress a bit. This announcement is similar to the invention of the Internet because this new type of computing will use uniquely quantum phenomena such as entanglement and superposition, which will allow multiple qubits to exist in multiple collective states at once.
With the invention of such new tools, you need to keep an open mind and a curious spirit and seek to learn from different perspectives and experiences. Learning is a lifelong journey, and you have the tools and skills to continue it.
Second, never stop serving. You have a responsibility and an opportunity to use your talents and knowledge to make a positive difference in the world. You have already shown your commitment to service by participating in various projects and initiatives that have benefited our campus. But don't stop there. Find your purpose and your passion and use them to serve others. Service is a rewarding and fulfilling way to live.
Third, never stop dreaming. You have a vision and a goal for your future, and you have worked hard to achieve it. But don't let that be the end of your aspirations. Dream big and pursue your dreams with courage and determination. Don't let fear or doubt stop you from reaching your potential. Don't let obstacles or setbacks discourage you from trying again. Don't let complacency or comfort prevent you from growing and improving. Dreaming is a powerful and inspiring way to live.
Finally, remember that success is not just measured by personal achievements but also by the positive impact you have on others and the communities around you. As you embark on your respective journeys, strive to be compassionate leaders, empathetic collaborators, and agents of positive change.
While some of you have already landed jobs or have been admitted to graduate or professional schools, I am aware that others are now going to figure out your next steps. With your degree from this university in hand, you have the skills and competence to succeed at wherever you land.
I have no doubt that the Class of 2023 will go on to achieve remarkable things, leaving an indelible mark on society. Your potential is limitless, and I am excited to witness the incredible contributions you will make to our world.
In conclusion, let me extend my heartfelt congratulations once again. May you embrace the future with optimism, tenacity, and a commitment to making a difference. The world eagerly awaits the unique contributions that each of you will bring.
Congratulations, graduates! I wish you all the best in your future endeavors.
Commencement Address - Jennifer Craighead Carey
Good afternoon, esteemed faculty, proud parents, grandparents, chosen family, and most importantly the remarkable graduation class of 2023! Today, as we gather here together, we are witness to the culmination of years of dedication, perseverance, and the relentless pursuit of knowledge. It is my honor and privilege to stand before you today as we celebrate the collective achievements, triumphs and transformative journeys that have brought us all to this extraordinary moment.
All of you have weathered the storms of intellectual challenges, scaled the peaks of academic excellence, and navigated the intricate landscapes of personal growth. Today you stand on the threshold of a new chapter, armed with wisdom acquired through countless hours of study, the bonds forged through shared experiences and the unyielding spirit that defines each one of you.
If you would have told my 21-year-old self back in May of 1990 when I graduated from Millersville University that I would some day be asked to address the graduating class in December of 2023, I wouldn’t have believed you. And to do so in front of my family today is very special. I thank you immensely for this honor.
For some context, I transferred into Millersville University my junior year of college and it would become one of the best decisions I ever made. Candidly, at that time, I didn’t have the guidance or mentorship to really know what I was doing. Neither of my parents graduated high school. My father was born in 1938 as one of nine children in the segregated south on a tobacco farm in Southern Virginia. He attended a segregated school through 8th grade and then dropped out of school to work on the tobacco farm.
When I arrived at Millersville I decided to major in history. Shortly after arriving, I was invited by Dr. John Osborne, then head of the honors program (which would later become the honors college) to join the honors program. The history department and the honors program at Millersville played a vital role in leading me down my professional path. Many of the faculty were not just instructors, they were advisors, mentors, and friends. They continuously challenged me. In my senior year, I had the honor of being advised by Dr. Dennis Downey in writing my senior capstone project titled, “A Quest for Freedom: The Chester Race Riot of 1917.” Although I would later go on to become a lawyer, I consider my defense of my senior capstone my first “oral argument”. And it was through the direction of Dr. Downey and Dr. Osborne that I applied to law school and was awarded a full tuition merit scholarship.
Today, I am a 55-year-old woman who has practiced law for 30 years as a partner in a law firm that has grown to nearly 140 lawyers. Effective January 1, 2024, I have been elected to lead the firm as Managing Partner. I sit on the board of directors of Fulton Financial Corporation and Fulton Bank as well as the High Holdings Corporation board. Through the years, I have volunteered on numerous non-profit boards. In fact, I met your President Wubah when we both served on the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce Board.
Sitting here today, what would I have told my 21-year-old self if I could go back in time? Here are the things I would have told that young woman.
Number one - and it may sound cliché, but life is a journey filled with ups and downs, successes and failures, the expected and the unexpected. No matter how much we plan or what we think may happen, it doesn’t always work out the way we want. Give yourself grace and compassion. There is no such thing as perfect. Don’t be afraid to take risks and fail. I have learned as much from my failures as my successes. See setbacks as challenges to overcome-not weaknesses. When you do fail, don’t be a victim. Take responsibility. Don’t take things too personal. All of the challenges and setbacks in life create grit and resilience-traits that will serve you well.
Number two - and I may disappoint some of you, but there is no such thing as work life balance if by work life balance we mean 50/50. There is work life integration. For context, I was 29 years old when I found out I was pregnant. At nearly five months pregnant I went for a sonogram and the technician asked how I felt about two. Two what? I responded. I was having twins. And they arrived 8 weeks premature. I was gravely ill after having them, spending nearly two weeks in the intensive care unit. I was forced to take a 6 month leave of absence from my job just about the time I was approaching partnership at my law firm. By the time my sons were four I was a divorced mother with a full-time career. I am proud to say that today my twins are 25 year old, college graduates and gainfully employed- one in Washington DC and the other in New York City. But it was not easy and there was no perfect 50/50 balance. You will find in your life that there are times when you are able to devote more time to personal endeavors and perhaps raising a family if you choose, and other times where work demands will take precedent. You need to figure out how you want to integrate those things into your life. It will never be perfect.
Number three - Seek out mentors and build a network. I have been so fortunate to have had incredible mentors during my career. One of my greatest mentors was the late David Keller, a partner in my firm and a former managing partner. Dave taught me how to be an excellent lawyer and was always there to listen. He never failed to offer advice and support. As I mention Dave Keller as a key mentor in my life, I would be remiss not to share how shortly after starting my career as an attorney at Barley Snyder, I learned that Dave Keller’s father, Richard Keller, was the former chair of the history department at Millersville University. Coincidentally, as a student at Millerville, in my senior year I was awarded the Richard Keller award in American History.
Number Four - find your village because you’re going to need it. You will find that as you get older, it’s not the volume of relationships you have, but the quality. Being surrounded by a core group of friends and family has been critical not only to my success, but my sanity. Don’t go it alone. I love my village.
Number Five - do not underestimate the value of community service. When I joined Barley Snyder some 30 years ago, it was impressed upon me that I must get involved in the community. Over the years, I have served on numerous non-profit boards including United Way of Lancaster County (where I served a stint as board chair), the Lancaster Chamber of Commerce, Millersville University Foundation, and Lancaster County Community Foundation, to name a few. I currently serve on the board of the Lancaster City Alliance. There are so many benefits to community service. It has taught me compassion and empathy. It has created countless business and personal connections within the community. It has enhanced my business opportunities and client base. It has connected me to people I would not have otherwise met from all walks of life. But most importantly, it has made me invested in my community and committed to making it a better place.
Lastly, make time for yourself and do things you enjoy. And never stop learning. Put down your phones and get off social media and read a book (I think my sons are rolling their eyes). My theory is that the best writers are readers. Challenge yourself to learn new things, even when it is outside your comfort zone. Don’t let people pigeonhole you just because you don’t have the right major or you didn’t come from the “right” background. I know theater majors who are CEOs of companies. I was a history major, but my liberal arts education has taken me beyond what people told me I could do. Avoid tunnel vision or believing you can’t change careers or directions in life.
This ceremony is more than a symbolic crossing of a stage; it is a testament to your resilience, your tenacity, and your unwavering commitment to the pursuit of knowledge. The journey to this moment has not been without its obstacles, but it is the overcoming of these challenges that has shaped you into the extraordinary individuals you are today. As you prepare to take flight into the world beyond these familiar walls, remember that you carry not just a degree but a repository of skills, insights, and the transformative power to make a difference.
Millersville University was a life changing experience for me. I hope that in your time here you have experienced some of the magic that I felt here. And I wish you the all the best as you move forward in your journey of life. May you find your joy and passion while remembering to invest in wherever you find your community. Congratulations, Millersville University Class of 2023! Thank you.
Greetings From Alumni Association President - MATTHEW OLPHIN ’95
Today is a milestone moment that will forever resonate in your life. On behalf of the Millersville University Alumni Association, I congratulate you for the dedication and perseverance that advanced you to this day. I am honored to be the first to welcome you into this prestigious group of Marauders for Life.
The MU Alumni Association–founded in 1861 and 73,000 members strong–keeps alumni connected and engaged with their alma mater, no matter where in the world life takes them. I encourage you to bookmark the alumni website, villealumni.com, and follow our social media accounts to keep up with campus and alumni news. You will now have access to some great benefits and services created especially for MU alumni and can learn more about them on our website.
The Office of Alumni Engagement is proud to be your point of connection to the University going forward. Through the alumni network, you can access extended support from the University, tap into its vibrant alumni network and stay connected to your alma mater and one another through Homecoming and other special events and programs. Even long after graduation, your alma mater is here for you and invested in your lifelong growth. Please stay in touch and keep your contact information updated so we can let you know about all the great things happening with the MUAA! Let us know about your personal and professional accomplishments, including career advancements. We often feature these updates in our University magazine, the Millersville University Review.
We wish you, and your family and friends celebrating with you, sincere congratulations on this remarkable accomplishment.
Be a Marauder for Life!