Pomp and circumstance mingled with elation, and awe with tears of joy for the recipients of the 902 degrees awarded at the Spring 2017 Commencement ceremony May 6.
The day began when six Army ROTC cadets were commissioned as second lieutenants in a ceremony at the Schuster Theatre.
At the baccalaureate mass at St. Peter Cathedral, the Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, Bishop of the Diocese of Erie, and the Most Rev. Robert Lynch, who retired in November as Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg, Florida, were among the concelebrants. After he was awarded a Doctor of Humane Letters degree, honoris causa, Bishop Lynch, in a moving keynote address, exhorted the near-capacity crowd at Erie Insurance Arena to “Take care. Take care of faith, the environment and all of humanity.”
Senior biology/pre-med major Shefali Amin of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, was awarded the Gannon University Medal of Honor for character, leadership and scholarship. President Keith Taylor, Ph.D. honored her spirit of service with the traditional proverb: “Rivers do not drink their own water. Trees do not eat their own fruit. Clouds do not swallow their own rain. What great ones have is always for the benefit of others.”
In his welcoming remarks, Taylor said, “Community is where humility and glory touch,” and there could be no better description of the joyous collision of emotions that was Spring 2017 Commencement.
View the Most Rev. Robert Lynch's Commencement speech.