Mercyhurst College to graduate 984 in three ceremonies May 22-23

Mercyhurst College Commencement Weekend 2010, slated for May 22-23, will witness the graduation of 984 students in three separate ceremonies - one for traditional-aged graduates, another for adult and graduate students, and the third for students from Mercyhurst North East, West and Corry.

Graduation for traditional-aged students, which number 563 eligible candidates, takes place at the Louis J. Tullio Arena, 809 French St., on Sunday, May 23, at 2 p.m. The ceremony is preceded by the Traditional March Along State Street, now in its 20th year, which begins from the Avalon Hotel at 1:45 p.m. with students processing north on State to East Ninth Street to the Tullio Arena.

Commencement speakers include Mercyhurst President Dr. Thomas Gamble, Board of Trustees Chair Marlene Mosco, and Dinorah Sanchez, recipient of the 2010 Carpe Diem Award, the college's highest honor for a traditional-aged student. Also Sunday, the Bishop's Award for Academic Excellence will be presented to Devon Swanson.

Besides Sunday's commencement, Mercyhurst celebrates the graduation of its adult and graduate students on Saturday, May 22, at 2 p.m. in the Mary D'Angelo Performing Arts Center. The 162 eligible candidates include 112 receiving master's degrees from one of Mercyhurst's six graduate programs; the remaining are adult recipients earning their undergraduate degrees.

Sister JoAnne Courneen, RSM, assistant secretary of the college’s Board of Trustees, will provide the welcoming remarks, while James Breckenridge, chair of the Department of Intelligence Studies and dean of the Walker School of Business, will deliver the commencement address.

During Saturday's exercises, Carolyn Cartwright will be honored as a recipient of the Catherine McAuley Undergraduate Adult Award. Adonas Woodard will be honored during Sunday's exercises as the other recipient of the award. Kathleen Moore will receive the President’s Award for Adult Excellence.
Saturday also marks Mercyhurst North East’s 12th commencement with 259 eligible graduates from its associate degree programs. The 1 p.m. exercises take place at Liguori Field House and also honor nine graduates of the Mercyhurst West campus and one from the Corry campus.

Mercyhurst Board of Trustees Vice Chair Richard Lanzillo, Esq., will deliver the welcome. The commencement address will be offered by the Rev. Father Denis Sweeney, C.Ss.R., Redemptorist Priest. Nathan Anderson, chosen to receive Mercyhurst North East's highest award, The Medal of Honor, will also speak.

Mercyhurst's commencement proceedings have evolved in recent years to adapt to changing times at the college. In 2003, it began a separate commencement for adult and graduate students to give special attention to that group whose accomplishments are often marked by different struggle and sacrifice than those of traditional-aged undergraduates. Then, six years ago, the traditional undergraduate commencement was moved from the 2,200-seat Warner Theatre to the 5,000-seat Tullio Arena to accommodate a steadily growing class of undergraduates and their families.
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