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Pennsylvania College of Technology held 15 in-person commencement ceremonies on Aug. 7-9 – two in the morning and three each afternoon – celebrating Spring and Summer 2020 graduates while adhering to state and federal health guidelines. In light of restrictions on gathering indoors, ceremonies were held outside; festivities were simultaneously streamed for the safety and convenience of those at a distance. The address by student speaker Alexandra D. Petrizzi, of Langhorne, who graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design, was delivered live during Friday’s 5 p.m. ceremony and broadcast to classmates in many of the other exercises. Additional precautions, fine-tuned through months of judicious planning, included mandatory masks (except when graduates crossed the stage), temperature checks for students upon arrival and socially spacious seating. “When I saw the set-up for today’s ceremony, I literally had tears in my eyes for one fundamental reason: It took an incredible amount of work to put this together today,” President Davie Jane Gilmour said. “And then I fact-checked myself and said, for all of you, it took an incredible amount of work to sit here today. In many ways, that’s a lesson that you can’t unlearn and perhaps a lesson that you might not have learned otherwise. Nothing rewarding is ever easy. You’re leaving here today with degrees that, all throughout this crazy pandemic, this real life-threatening deal we’re dealing with, is you’re essential workers. You’re in an essential career that will make a difference in people’s lives, both in 2020 and the years to come. That’s what Penn College does: We make you ready, and help you be prepared, for the careers of today and tomorrow. I have no doubt you’ll go out and make us Penn College Proud.”

– Photos by Cindy Davis Meixel, writer/photo editor; Jennifer A. Cline, writer/magazine editor;
Tom Wilson, writer/editor-PCToday; and Becky J. Shaner, senior manager of donor relations and special events

Class representative Alexandra “Ali” D. Petrizzi, who recently landed a “dream job” with Vera Bradley, addresses her fellow 2020 graduates. In her remarks, a prerecorded version of which was broadcast at subsequent ceremonies, Petrizzi thanked family, friends, her network of college mentors – and Starbucks – for helping her along her road to success.
Class representative Alexandra “Ali” D. Petrizzi, who recently landed a “dream job” with Vera Bradley, addresses her fellow 2020 graduates. In her remarks, a prerecorded version of which was broadcast at subsequent ceremonies, Petrizzi thanked family, friends, her network of college mentors – and Starbucks – for helping her along her road to success.

President Gilmour sanitized after every diploma handoff, leaving it up to everyone how they wished to be acknowledged. Malachi J. Atkinson, a web and interactive media graduate, chose an elbow bump.
President Gilmour sanitized after every diploma handoff, leaving it up to everyone how they wished to be acknowledged. Malachi J. Atkinson, a web and interactive media graduate, chose an elbow bump.

Physician assistant graudate Tia G. La joins the procession.
Physician assistant graduate Tia G. La joins the procession.

Joseph F. DiBucci, who received degrees in applied technology and concrete science technology, leaves the stage with an armload of honors: the Lewis H. Bardo Memorial Award, a West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association Award and (as founder and outgoing president of the ConCreate Club) a Penn College Award for student engagement.
Joseph F. DiBucci, who received degrees in applied technology and concrete science technology, leaves the stage with an armload of honors: the Lewis H. Bardo Memorial Award, a West Branch Susquehanna Builders Association Award and (as founder and outgoing president of the ConCreate Club) a Penn College Award for student engagement.

A once-in-a-lifetime sentiment for an equally extraordinary graduation year
A once-in-a-lifetime sentiment for an equally extraordinary graduation year

The beauty of campus provides solace and constancy in a world of change. Ryan M. Caughill, of Cheektowaga, N.Y., who graduated in emergency management technology, stands outside the Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center.
The beauty of campus provides solace and constancy in a world of change. Ryan M. Caughill, of Cheektowaga, N.Y., who graduated in emergency management technology, stands outside the Advanced Technology & Health Sciences Center.

Fashion and function meet in this keepsake, handmade by one grad's proud cheerleader.
Fashion and function meet in this keepsake, handmade by one grad’s proud cheerleader.

New alumni were directed to a number of photo backdrops on campus – including the "Penn College" shrubbery near the main entrance, where health information technology graduate Ashlie N. Rodgers paused to pose.
New alumni were directed to a number of photo backdrops on campus – including the “Penn College” shrubbery near the main entrance, where health information technology graduate Ashlie N. Rodgers paused to pose.

Face coverings and hand sanitizer were among the requisites to make in-person commencement a safe and socially responsible reality. Carolyn R. Strickland (left) vice president for enrollment management and associate provost, double-checks a student's name before the grad traverses the stage.
Face coverings and hand sanitizer were among the requisites to make in-person commencement a safe and socially responsible reality. Carolyn R. Strickland (left) vice president for enrollment management and associate provost, double-checks a student’s name before the grad traverses the stage.

An emergency management technology graduate, whose necessity (like all of Penn College's tomorrow makers) is as current as the daily news, clearly accepts the challenge.
An emergency management technology graduate, whose necessity (like all of Penn College’s tomorrow makers) is as current as the daily news, clearly accepts the challenge.

 

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