Local residents Lindsay M. Cavanagh of Brewster and Annie Eileen Aurea McSherry of Carmel were among more than 800 bachelor's degrees at its in-person undergraduate celebration ceremonies on May 23. Degrees were conferred to graduates who had completed their academic degree requirements in August and December of 2020, as well as January and May of 2021. Due to capacity restrictions in place because of the pandemic, separate ceremonies were held for the University's Panuska College of Professional Studies, the Kania School of Management and the College of Arts and Sciences at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza, Wilkes-Barre.
Members of the University's undergraduate class of 2021 represent 12 states including Connecticut, Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Virginia. Undergraduate majors with the most graduates are accounting, nursing, biology, occupational therapy, exercise science, finance and marketing.
Each of the undergraduate ceremonies included a tribute to the late Rev. Scott R. Pilarz, S.J., who served as the University's 24th and 27th President, and a recorded principal address by University of Scranton alumna Susan M. St. Ledger '86, president of worldwide field operations for Okta, Inc. St. Ledger received an honorary degree from the University along with Rev. Otto Hentz, S.J., associate professor of theology, Georgetown University; Rev. Columba A. Stewart, O.S.B., executive director of the Hill Museum and Manuscript Library at St. John's University; and Scranton alumna Nicole Young '00, Emmy Award-winning producer for 60 Minutes.
St. Ledger told the members of the class of 2021 in a recorded address, which was played at each undergraduate ceremony, their "life as a student never ends." Reflecting on lessons taught to her by her parents, Mary and Dave, who is also a University of Scranton alumnus, she told the graduates "my father taught me that the purpose of education, whether its grade school or college, is to learn how to learn, so you understand how to learn for the rest of your life. My mother often reminded me that there are many life experiences outside the classroom with tremendous educational value. Years later, it became clear to me my father taught me to be a student for life, and my mother taught me to be a student of life. Because you are beneficiaries of a Jesuit education, the seeds that will enable you make a difference have already taken root. You are well prepared to respond to a call to human excellence, the continued development of the whole person and lifelong learning."
Jeffrey P. Gingerich, Ph.D., acting president, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs, addressed the graduates and conferred degrees upon candidates presented by Michelle Maldonado, Ph.D., dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Sam Beldona, Ph.D., dean of the Kania School of Management; and Debra A. Pellegrino, Ed.D., dean of the Panuska College of Professional Studies.
Members of the class of 2021 who spoke at their respective commencement ceremonies were: Taylor Rose Schwartz '21, Broomall, an occupational therapy major representing the Panuska College of Professional Studies; Taylor Kennedy Roman '21, Poughkeepsie, an international business major representing the Kania School of Management; and Casey E. Welby '21, Scranton, a classical language Latin and history double major and member of the University's undergraduate Honors Program, representing the College of Arts and Sciences. Also speaking at the ceremony was Joseph L. Sorbera, III '08, president of the University's Alumni Society. David E. Marx, Ph.D., interim associate provost for academic affairs, provided the Benediction and Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, provided the Invocation.
An archived recording of the ceremony can be seen here.
Students earning undergraduate degrees include the following:
Lindsay M. Cavanagh of Brewster earned a Bachelor of Science degree in counseling and human services
Annie Eileen Aurea McSherry of Carmel earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing
The University of Scranton is a Jesuit university located in Northeastern Pennsylvania.