PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

More

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.”

Your ad blocker is on.

Please choose an option below.

Sign up for our e-mail newsletter:
OR
Support quality journalism:
Purchase a Subscription!

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

Get notified about breaking news
Loading notification service...
Other posts 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

Big Ten Postpones Fall Sports

The conference will attempt to play in the spring.

Big Ten Postpones Fall Sports

The conference will attempt to play in the spring.

Join Onward State: Fall 2020 Application

Onward State is hiring for the upcoming semester and looking for new folks to join our team and help tell the Penn State story.

Penn State Outlines Fall Semester Coronavirus Testing Procedures, Plans

Penn State will randomly test approximately 1% of students, faculty, and staff (~700 people) each day.

Send this to a friend