Pitt-Johnstown celebrated its 38th Commencement on Saturday, May 1 in the Sports Center. The ceremony honored approximately 560 students who completed Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, or Associate of Science degree requirements in August or December 2009, or are completing requirements in April, or June of this year. Approximately 360 seniors processed in the ceremony.
Dr. John W. Thompson, Pitt-Johnstown associate professor of mathematics, served as grand marshal for the Commencement ceremonies, which included a procession of graduates, faculty, staff, administration and members of the Pitt-Johnstown Advisory Board. Faculty marshals were Dr. Elisabeth T. Bell-Loncella, Dr. Elena Constantin, Dr. Nina Girard, Dr. Daniel Santoro, and Jeffrey L. Webb.
Graduating senior James Koban led the audience in the singing of the National Anthem and the Alma Mater. The Pitt-Johnstown community band, under the leadership of Michael L. Bodolosky, also performed.
Speaking at the ceremony Jeffrey N. Burtner (Class of 2010), representing the Student Government Association; Abby Lee Gearhart (Class of 2010), representing the Class of 2010, and American hero Captain Scott F. O'Grady, the Air Force fighter pilot who survived a six-day ordeal after being shot down over Bosnia.
President Spectar presented the first-ever President's Medal of Excellence to Mary Rose, and presented the President's Medal of Excellence in Teaching to Brian L. Houston, associate professor of civil engineering technology.
Dr. Alan Teich, vice president for Academic Affairs, presented the candidates for degrees. Gladys K. Go (’92), president of the Pitt Johnstown Alumni Association, recognized the graduates as new members of the Association and encouraged them to support the college by becoming active in the Association.
Closing remarks were offered by President Spectar.