University Announces Commencement Speakers, Headlined By John Urschel
Penn State announced the list of speakers at its 2016 spring commencement ceremonies, including former All Big-Ten guard and current NFL player John Urschel, who will speak at the Eberly College of Science commencement.
Other speakers for the graduation ceremonies include former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge, who will speak to the College of Information Sciences and Technology. After serving as governor, Ridge was named as the first-ever Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Irvin Scott, Director of College Ready in the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation will speak to the College of Education and Michael DiBerardinis, the Managing Director of the City of Philadelphia will speak to the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences, though none of the other speakers really jump off the page as extraordinary.
While a lot of the speakers seem to be interesting in their own right, the list of mostly unknown speakers continues Penn State’s tradition of fairly underwhelming commencement speakers. While there are obvious hurdles in getting big name speakers for such events, like commencements being broken down by each academic college, it seems ludicrous that in a year where a school like Rutgers can get President Obama to speak at commencement, the best Penn State can do is a former football player, even if he is extremely interesting.
Here’s a full list of 2016 speakers for University Park colleges:
College of Agricultural Sciences: Keith Eckel, owner, Fred W. Eckel Sons; President of Eckel Farms, Inc.; Penn State Board of Trustees member.
College of Arts and Architecture: Lisa Marie Rogali, senior graduating with a degree in Music Education.
Smeal College of Business: Sal Srendi, Class of 1987 graduate and former CEO of TradeStation, Inc.
College of Communications: Donald Bellisario, Distinguished Alumnus, Creator of TV Shows like Magnum P.I. and NCIS.
College of Earth and Mineral Sciences: Michael DiBerardinis, Managing Director for the City of Philadelphia
College of Education: Irvin Scott, Director of College Ready in the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
College of Engineering: Shu Chien, Director of the Institute of Engineering in Medicine at the University of California, San Diego
College of Health and Human Development: Linda Caldwell, Professor of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
College of Information Sciences and Technology: Tom Ridge, former PA Governor and Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security
College of the Liberal Arts: Lasanthi Fernando, senior, graduating with degrees in Philosophy and Economics as a Paterno Fellow and Schreyer Scholar
College of Nursing: Donna Hart Gage, Chief Nursing Officer in the Veterans Health Administration for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
Eberly College of Science: John Urschel, NFL offensive guard and former Academic All-American at Penn State
The Graduate School: Rob Turrisi, Professor of Biobehavioral Health and Prevention Research and Professor-In-Charge of the Graduate Program
Penn State Law (University Park Campus): Richard Trumka, President of the AFL-CIO