The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

April 20, 2013

Area college commencements scheduled

Kelly Urban

— College seniors will soon sport their caps and gowns and receive the diplomas they’ve worked hard to achieve.

But before they enter the working world, graduates will gather one last time at commencement ceremonies to hear speakers offer words of advice and wisdom.

Here’s who is speaking at ceremonies in the region:


At Saturday’s graduation ceremony, Academy Award nominated actress and Emmy nominated choreographer Rosie Perez will be the featured speaker. She will talk about the importance of being adaptable and taking risks in order to achieve success and fulfillment.

The 41st annual commencement will begin at 1 p.m. in the Sports Center.

On the big and small screen, Perez has starred in both comedic and dramatic roles.

She served as choreographer for the show “In Living Color” and made her directorial debut creating a documentary that celebrates Puerto Rican pride.

In addition, she has starred on Broadway and served as a producer on a variety of film projects. Throughout her career, Perez has been a vocal activist for a number of causes especially those related to AIDS and inner-city youth.

This year, 500 students will earn degrees.

St. Francis

Paul Sansone, senior vice president and chief financial officer of Better World Books, a global social enterprise and e-commerce company, will speak at the graduate program ceremony at 10 a.m. May 5 at Stokes Athletic Center.

Sansone graduated from

St. Francis’ honor program in 1988 with a bachelor’s degree in economics and accounting and received a master’s degree in business administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

Prior to working at Better World Books, Sansone was vice president of finance for Cisco System’s Video Technology Group, a $3 billion end-to-end supplier of broadband networks.

Sister Clarie LeBoeuf, founder of New Life Village, an intergenerational community in Florida where children in foster care find permanent homes, will speak and receive an honorary degree at the undergraduate ceremony at 2 p.m. at the athletic center.

Sister LeBoeuf has been working in foster care service and adoption for more than 33 years.

About 750 students will earn degrees at the 162nd commencement.

Mount Aloysius

The 160th annual commencement will begin at

10 a.m. May 11 in the Health and Physical Fitness Center.

The commencement address will be given by Patricia R. Rooney, wife of the former ambassador to Ireland and Pittsburgh Steelers owner Dan Rooney.

Rooney is actively involved with organizations that work to improve the quality of life in Pittsburgh and southwestern Pennsylvania and is a supporter of education initiatives.

The invocation will be given by April Tewksbury of Wyalusing, Bradford County, a cum laude graduate with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, specializing in health care administration.

The welcome message will be given by Jennifer Smith of Claysburg, Blair County, a summa cum laude graduate with a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a specialization in counseling.

The student commencement address will be delivered by Jessica Seasoltz of Altoona, who will graduate magna cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in biology with a specialization in pre-health professional.

This year, 412 students will receive diplomas.


The university’s commencement will be held May 18 in the Kovalchick Convention and Athletic Complex.

The 9 a.m. ceremony will be for students from the colleges of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, Fine Arts and Health and Human Services.

The 1:30 p.m. ceremony will be for students from the colleges of Education, Humanities and Social Sciences and Eberly College of Business

There will be just more than 1,900 graduates – 1,578 undergraduate and 328 graduate degrees will be awarded.

Commencement speakers have not been finalized.

St. Vincent

Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington, D.C., will be recognized with an honorary doctor of theology degree and be the principal speaker at the 167th annual commencement May 11.

The ceremony will begin at

2 p.m. in the Robert S. Carey Student Center.

A native of Pittsburgh who served as bishop of the Diocese of Pittsburgh for 18 years, Wuerl is know for his teaching ministry and is involved in education, health care and social service organizations. He also is the author of numerous books and articles.

Wuerl was ordained to the priesthood on Dec. 17, 1966, and ordained a bishop by Pope John Paul II on Jan. 6, 1986, in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome.

More than 300 undergraduate and graduate degrees will be awarded.

Pennsylvania Highlands

The 18th annual commencement will take place at 2 p.m.

May 18 in the Richland campus auditorium, 101 Community College Way.

Commencement speaker will be Edward Rosbaugh, who will receive an associate of applied science in human services, generalist degree, with the hope of becoming a case manager.

Rosbaugh is currently vice president of the Phi Theta Kappa Chapter, president of Student Government and a student trustee. He plans to transfer to IUP to pursue his bachelor’s degree and eventually obtain a master’s degree in psychology.

Over 200 graduates will be receiving associate degrees, diplomas or certificates at the ceremony.

Allegany College of Md.

At the college’s Bedford campus in Everett, commencement is scheduled for 7 p.m. May 18 at Everett Area High School.

The college’s Somerset campus will hold commencement at 7 p.m. May 21 at Shanksville-Stonycreek High School.

Graduates will be the speakers at both ceremonies.

Speakers have not yet been selected.

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