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Graduate School Commencement

Graduate School Commencement

Commencement exercises for Penn State graduate students are held three times a year: at the end of the fall and spring semesters and at the end of the summer session. Attendance at commencement is expected. Students who do not attend commencement ceremonies will receive their diplomas in the mail. Diplomas are mailed by the University Registrar, and mailing addresses should be updated on LionPATH.

Further information for advanced degree candidates is provided on the University's commencement website.

Summer 2017 Commencement
Saturday, August 12, in the Bryce Jordan Center at 2:30 p.m.
Watch the livestream

Keynote Speaker: Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw, Ph.D.
President, St. John's University

Widely respected as an accomplished scholar, teacher, and administrator, with over three decades of academic and administrative experience and leadership, Dr. Conrado “Bobby” Gempesaw has been described as “one of today’s most outstanding leaders within higher education.”

Dr. Gempesaw has served as president of St. John’s University since July 2014.  St. John’s is one of the nation’s largest and most diverse Catholic universities with 20,000 students at seven locations: Queens, Staten Island, Manhattan, and Oakdale in New York; Rome, Italy; Paris, France; and Seville, Spain.  Dr. Gempesaw is the first lay president in the 146-year history of the private, Catholic, and Vincentian university.

Prior to his appointment at St. John’s University, Dr. Gempesaw served as Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.  Previously, at the University of Delaware, he served as Dean of the Lerner College of Business and Economics; Interim Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences; Vice Provost for Academic and International Programs; Vice Provost for Academic Programs and Planning; and Chair of the Department of Food and Resource Economics.  

After receiving his Ph.D. in Agricultural Economics at Penn State in 1985, Dr. Gempesaw joined the University of Delaware as an assistant professor.  He was awarded tenure and promoted to associate professor in 1989, and promoted to full professor in 1993.

Dr. Gempesaw’s field of research and expertise is in higher education administration, financial simulation analysis, marketing, and international trade.  He has published over 100 journal articles and conference proceedings, and supervised 32 master’s theses and dissertations. 

In March 2017, Dr. Gempesaw was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Penn State Graduate School Alumni Society.

View a list of previous Graduate School commencement speakers.

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