May 14, 2016 – Allegheny College today honored 458 graduates and presented three distinguished leaders with honorary degrees at its Commencement ceremonies inside the Wise Center Sports Forum.
NBC News Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss, who was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters at the ceremony, delivered the Commencement address in the College’s 201st year. He also is a commentator for the PBS NewsHour and is a political analyst for the Cable News Network (CNN). He has authored nine books and created and hosted the Discovery Channel series “Decisions That Shook the World,” for which he won an Emmy Award in 2005.
Beschloss told graduates that his own liberal arts education, and its emphasis on communication skills, led to his success. He emphasized the “glorious history” of Allegheny, the 32nd oldest college in the nation. In stressing the importance of studying and learning from history, Beschloss said: “Keep close to you the strong friendships you have made here, be they with classmates, professors or administrators. This college has prepared you magnificently for a wonderful life.”
In addition to Beschloss, honorary doctorates of humane letters were conferred on Victoria A. Lipnic, a 1982 Allegheny graduate and commissioner on the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and M. Roy Wilson, a 1976 Allegheny graduate and president of Wayne State University.
Rob Smith, Allegheny Class of 1973 and chairman of the college’s board of trustees, welcomed the graduates and their families. As a Meadville resident and local business owner, Smith said Allegheny students’ contributions to the community over the past four years “have been immense. While we just completed the ‘Year of Meadville,’ every year is a ‘Year of Meadville’ at Allegheny.
“The key is Allegheny has prepared you to have full and productive and satisfying lives, no matter what field of endeavor you undertake,” Smith said.
Saturday’s ceremony concluded with Allegheny President James H. Mullen Jr.’s charge to the graduates. He called on graduates to achieve at the highest level as professionals and as citizens, to employ the full measure of their promise and potential, to live lives of courage and conviction, to see and appreciate beauty even when others may not, to find joy and laughter in the challenge of their days and to never forget what it means to be a friend.
“I charge you to love this place that has been your home for the last four years,” said Mullen. “As it approaches its third century, help it as it sets the standard of excellence for liberal arts learning in America.
“Together as the Class of 2016 – as friends and colleagues, joined to generations past and future, move those tassels and proclaim to the world that you are today, tomorrow and always ‘Allegheny,’” Mullen said.
Allegheny College celebrated its bicentennial in 2015.
Photo credit: Ed Mailliard