ERIE, Pa. — Penn State Behrend awarded 239 undergraduate and graduate degrees as part of the University’s fall 2020 commencement program. The Dec. 19 program was virtual, due to continuing restrictions on public gatherings; a recording of the ceremony may be viewed online.
A Behrend page with video messages and interactive tiles for individual graduates was included in the program.
As in other years, Behrend graduates heard from Chancellor Ralph Ford, who recorded a video greeting. He discussed the unique circumstances of this academic year, which included two periods of remote learning, and the perseverance of the Class of 2020.
“I challenge you to never stop learning and developing as you grow and mature,” he said. “If, each day, you work to become an even better version of yourself, over a lifetime those results will compound to create an exceptional you.”
The college’s faculty was represented by Kathleen Noce, teaching professor of management information systems. She also recorded a video message to the new graduates, in which she referenced the disruption caused by the pandemic.
“Disruption may create significant changes in our lives,” she said, “but it’s how we use such disruption to grow, learn and thrive that can be the key to success. My wish for you is that you will continue to face those disruptions head-on and use them to shape a solid future for yourself, and a better one for others as well.”
At every Penn State Behrend commencement, the students with the highest cumulative grade-point average in each school are honored as student marshals. This semester’s marshals were:
- Julianne Krahe, of Erie, represented the Black School of Business. She earned a degree in finance.
- Julia Cecchetti, of Erie, represented the School of Engineering. She earned a degree in mechanical engineering.
- Brittany Reinstadtler, of Pittsburgh, represented the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. She earned a degree in psychology.
- Jessica Albach, of Erie, represented the School of Science. She earned a degree in environmental science.