PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

Clearing Up Confusion about the Liberal Arts Graduation Speaker (Or Lack Thereof)

Yesterday, the list of this year’s commencement speakers was released. Each college will have their own ceremony, marked by a keynote speaker, typically a big name to deliver a message to the graduating class. Because Penn State doesn’t have one big ceremony for the whole school, they can’t get a speaker like President Barack Obama, like Ohio State did. But one curious item on the list popped up: the College of the Liberal Arts did not have a listed commencement speaker.

As a liberal arts student myself, I felt gypped at first. But Christopher Long, Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in Liberal Arts, shed some light on the issue.

“The College of the Liberal Arts does have a commencement speaker: our student marshal, Lindsay Wells. Lindsay is a triple major in Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies, Art History, and Medieval Studies.

What we don’t have is a second commencement speaker from inside or outside the University. Although we have traditionally had two speakers, this year colleges were given the option not to have a non-student commencement speaker. We in the College of the Liberal Arts decided to give that a try this year in order to highlight our student marshal and to try to limit the length of the ceremony.”

Outside speakers have often been criticized for the quality of their speeches, as was the case last year. Highlighting a student as a speaker may well improve that quality, as one may not be able to rely on their name or prestige in lieu of a meaningful message.

Dean Long also added, “I believe we are the only College that still has a student speaker at commencement, and we decided that was the tradition to continue as it expresses well the student-centered spirit of the ceremony and of the approach to education we take in the College of the Liberal Arts.”

About the Author

Dan McCool

Dan is a senior and has been writing for Onward State since January 2010. Did you miss him? Nah, neither did we. He's returning after a semester abroad in England and will be serving as Arts Editor. Favorite things in life include references to The Big Lebowski.

Comments

More by Dan

Erase Your Expectations: Dan McCool’s Senior Column

Don’t worry about what you should be doing, or how what you’re doing is going to fit into the cadre of college—or Penn State, for that matter—predetermined by our culture. Go make your own Penn State, without any expectations; you’ll be much happier.

After Condom Spat, UPUA Approves Funding for Sexual Violence Prevention & Awareness Month

UPUA Is Walking to Harrisburg, Not Much Else

Athletics

Penn State Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

A banner raising ceremony will commemorate the achievement prior to the team’s season opener on November 9 against North Florida.

Reports: Tony Carr To Begin Professional Career In Italy

Penn State Hockey’s Aarne Talvitie Showcases At Devils Development Camp

Penn State Hoops Releases 2018-19 Non-Conference Schedule

Forward Abdou Tsimbila Commits To Penn State Hoops

Student Life

Penn State Student Dies Of Allergic Reaction To Peanuts

Max McGlinchey had just finished his freshman year studying finance.

Freshman 101: On-Campus Life

Student Farm To Commemorate Summer Solstice With Second Annual Celebration

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

‘Rathskeller’ Name Subject Of Trademark Infringement Lawsuit

The complaint cites that the business has been sold throughout the years and is not tied to that specific location.

Finance Committee Recommends Tuition Freeze For In-State Undergraduate Students

If it is approved by a full-Board vote Friday, the committee’s budget plan will freeze in-state undergraduate tuition for the first time since 2015.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Penn State Hoops Gets Iced Up For NIT Title

A banner raising ceremony will commemorate the achievement prior to the team’s season opener on November 9 against North Florida.

Send this to a friend