Largest class graduates from Abington

spring commencement

Family and community are cornerstones of the Penn State Abington experience.

Credit: Mike Levin

ABINGTON, Pa. — Rain supposedly brings good luck on wedding days, so if the same applies to graduation, the Penn State Abington class of 2016 — the largest in the campus' history — may be its luckiest. The daylong downpour didn’t diminish the joy as families, friends and the campus community celebrated:


  • 380 new graduates;
  • Five valedictorians;
  • Fifty-five students who graduated with honors or in the top 12 percent of their class, the most in Abington history;
  • The first group to leave with bachelor’s degrees from the Penn State College of Engineering while remaining in the Philadelphia area;
  • Four students earned concurrent degrees in business plus either corporate communication, information sciences and technology, and two students in accounting;
  • Five Schreyer Honors College medal recipients.​
Abington graduation

Abington students and faculty often develop relationships through the small class sizes and undergraduate research projects.

Credit: Mike Levin

“Together, we created a harmonious blend of diverse cultures, beliefs, languages, and ideas — a blend that proves tolerance and acceptance of all leads to amazing things both in and out of the classroom.”

-- Victoria Ricci, co-valedictorian

military spring commencement

Jeffrey Heilman, one of five Abington valedictorians, will be commissioned as an Army lieutenant this month. While interning with state Rep. Thomas Murt this year, Heilman worked closely with highly decorated Vietnam War veteran David Christian on research and advocacy for veterans programs. He served in the infantry for 12 years and was the national 2012 Army Drill Sergeant of the Year.

Credit: Mike Levin

In addition to academic bragging rights, the class of 2016 included:

  • Two pairs of brothers and two pairs of twin sisters;
  • Elizabeth Janoski, who took home $50,000 on "Wheel of Fortune College Road Trip" a few weeks ago;
  • Two students who will be commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army this month;
  • A group of student-athletes who were the first to compete for Abington as an NCAA Division III member for four years.​
Jennifer Denison

Jennifer Denison, one of five Abington Shreyer Honors College Scholars, heads to the University of Pennsylvania this fall to begin her master's degree. Based on persona experience, her senior thesis resulted in an outline of best practices for treating adolescent anorexia, attuned to the needs of the individual patient.

Credit: Mike Levin

“You will face many changes in life and, the challenge is how you respond and adapt. Remember the three Cs: Choice, chance, and change. Sometimes you need to make the choice to take a chance or your life will never change.”

-- Lorraine Basara, commencement speaker and 1975 Penn State alumna

See more photos from Abington's spring 2016 commencement on Facebook.