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Distinguished Speakers Chosen to Speak at Commencement Ceremonies

As a graduating senior, I’ve been looking forward to seeing the list of commencement speakers for all the various colleges. Throughout the years Penn State has had some pretty cool cats come to send its graduates out with a bang; including famous filmmakers, corporate CEOs, and Pulitzer and Nobel Prize winners. This year is no exception with some pretty big names on the docket. We’ve got the full list below:

College of Agriculture: Marcos Fernandez – associate dean for undergraduate education of College of Agricultural Sciences

College of Arts and Architecture: Robert E. Fenza, ’80 – executive vice president and chief operating officer, Liberty Property Trust

Smeal College of Business: Barry Salzberg – chief executive officer, Deloitte LLP

College of Communications: Wolf Blitzer, lead political anchor, CNN

College of Earth and Mineral Sciences: William Easterling – dean of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences

College of Education: Ronald G. Ehrenberg – Irving M. Ives Professor of Industrial and Labor Relations and Economics, Cornell University

College of Engineering: Kenneth Huntsman, ’74 – co-founder, America Online

College of Health and Human Development and School of Nursing: Laurie A. Garrett, senior fellow for global health, Council on Foreign Relations

College of Information Sciences and Technology: Daniel S. Mead ’75, ’77 MBA – president and chief executive officer, Verizon Wireless

College of the Liberal Arts: Raymond Lombra ’68g, ’71g – professor of economics and senior adviser to the dean, College of the Liberal Arts

Eberly College of Science: Joseph A. Miller Jr., ’66 Ph.D. – executive vice president and chief technology officer, Corning Inc.

The Graduate School: Donald Hambrick ’79 Ph.D. – Evan Pugh Professor and Smeal Chaired Professor of Management

My take: I feel real sorry for the Colleges that are having professors or deans as the featured speakers. Commencement is the opportunity for outgoing seniors to hear from a prominent figure in their field, and some of the colleges failed to do that. I can’t imagine that one of the largest colleges at Penn State (Liberal Arts) was unable to find someone other than an econ professor. I mean, if IST, the smallest college, can get the CEO of a major telecommunications company, Liberal Arts can do better than a prof. But regardless, congratulations to my fellow seniors, we’ve had a good run. I’m sure commencement will be memorable for everyone no matter who is speaking.

For a full list and bios of the speakers, including commonwealth campuses, visit Penn State Live.

About the Author

Chase Tralka

Chase Tralka is a Senior majoring in Information Sciences and Technology with a minor in Security and Risk Analysis. He is from Northern New Jersey and is involved in far too many organizations to list here. He enjoys photography, cycling, and listening to obscure free jazz music.


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