Friends, family, administrators and faculty packed the Heiges Field House at Shippensburg University on a rainy Saturday morning to celebrate SU’s last graduating class of the decade.
More than 250 graduates from the colleges of business, education and human services and arts and sciences were awarded degrees in the ceremony.
Blaine F. Shover, mace-bearer and SU music professor, along with two representatives of the class of 1969, led faculty, administrators and the class of 2019, while those in the stands clapped, cheered and searched for their graduate.
Before the graduates walked across the floor, SU President Laurie Carter recognized the SU Council of Trustees, Alumni Association and faculty and administration members. She also recognized the family and friends who came to support their graduates.
Michael Ross, chair of the Council of Trustees, gave a quick, witty address to the graduates which he called, “three minutes you will never get back.”
Carter introduced Khalid N. Mumin, a ‘95 graduate of SU, who presented tips and advice during the graduation address.
Mumin is the superintendent of the Reading School District. He shared his background and how he got to where he is in life. Mumin said struggles and challenges are a part of the journey, however, the new graduates need to have humility and surround themselves with positive images and things that help keep their eyes on the prize.
“No matter how you arrived to this point, you are a success,” Mumin said.
Mumin shared tips for success, as well as the “ingredients to his secret sauce” which he said aided him in creating his own success. He said he was always the youngest and the first at everything, listing his career accomplishments crediting them to “his secret sauce APIE”: assess, plan, implement and evaluate.
“When life presents challenges, I want you to think about APIE,” Mumin said.
“And we’re going to go over and over again,” he said, stressing the importance of repeating the process.
He led the graduates in multiple lively chants of APIE.
“We’re counting on them [the graduates] to make a difference in this ever-changing society,” Mumin said.
Following Mumin’s address, Provost Tom Ormond and Carter gave the graduates their baccalaureate degrees before they walked across the stage. After about 20 minutes of reading names, all of the graduates passed by.
In her closing remarks, Carter encouraged the graduates to “roar into the 2020s” through hard work and dedication, but also reminded them that not every path is intentional. She listed successful historical figures of the 1920s who faced adversity, including Walt Disney.
SU concluded the ceremony by singing the alma mater, after which the graduates tossed their caps into the air.