Friends, family and faculty members gathered on a rainy Saturday morning in Heiges Field House to celebrate the achievements of Shippensburg University's winter Class of 2018.
With standing room only, the procession led by mace bearer and music professor Blaine Shover began with faculty members and soon-to-be graduates of the colleges of business, education and human services, and arts and sciences following behind.
After a brief welcome from SU President Laurie Carter, Barbara J. Bowker, keynote speaker and Pennsylvania State Employees Credit Union (PSECU) vice president of marketing and membership development addressed the graduates.
“Congratulations graduates, it has taken commitment, drive, dedication and years of hard work, but you've succeeded. Today you have reached your goal,” Bowker said.
Bowker — an SU alumna — tried to recall her own graduation, but admitted that she did not remember a lot about the day.
“My graduation was similar to yours. It rained and we were crammed in this field house,” she said. “And I may have celebrated just a little too much the night before.”
Bowker spoke about her career at PSECU, and discussed the importance of being willing to try new things.
She offered the graduates advice for their futures through the acronym “SHIP.”
“Remember SHIP. S is for servant leadership. H is for honesty. I is for integrity. P is for perseverance,” Bowker said.
After Bowker’s remarks, Carter recognized the SU Council of Trustees, the SU Alumni Association, as well as the faculty and administration. She also recognized the family and friends who were anxiously awaiting the moment their student’s name was called.
Retiring Provost Barbara Lyman joined Carter on stage to hand out the hard-earned degrees to the 354 graduates. After about 20 minutes, all of the graduates had been recognized.
Carter wished the graduates well before closing with a quote from the late President George H. W. Bush: "Think about every problem, every challenge, we face. The solution to each starts with education.”