ABINGTON, Pa. — Penn State Abington awarded more than 300 degrees at its spring commencement on Friday, May 4.
The African drumming troupe Kule Mele opened the ceremony with energetic music before Chancellor Damian J. Fernandez shared his reflections based on a recent visit to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C.
“I was as fascinated by what was contained within the frames as what lay outside them— the spaces in between the portraits — the distance, the closeness, the blank in-betweeness, that which both separates and connects all of us — an unspoken, but essential background that brings us all together as in the national gallery," he said.
“That backdrop is shared space — basic American values — that opportunity should be available to all, that talent and merit come in all sizes and shapes and colors and genders, that hard work should pay off, that we all have the right to express our humanity in ways that are authentic to each, that we all have the right to advocate for our passion and contribute to the greater good, and that we all should be respected and afforded our rights."
"Abington is part of our shared story and will always be," Fernandez added. "May what you learned here carry you forth to contribute in small and big ways to making our national story better. Make your mark."
Keynote speaker Farah Jimenez, president and CEO of the Philadelphia Education Fund, reminded the new graduates of the courage it took for them to achieve the goal of earning a college degree given the financial and other challenges many of them faced.
"It is time for you to commence on the next leg of your journey bolstered by all that you learned here," she said.
Find more images from Penn State Abington's spring 2018 commencement on Facebook.
About Penn State Abington
Penn State Abington, formerly the Ogontz campus, offers baccalaureate degrees in 19 majors at its suburban location just north of Philadelphia. Nearly half of its 4,000 students complete all four years at Abington, with opportunities in undergraduate research, the Schreyer honors program, NCAA Division III athletics, and more. Students can start the first two years of more than 160 Penn State majors at Abington and complete their degrees at University Park or another campus.