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Penn State Grads Offered 3 Pieces of Advice

6/20/2007 —

Penn State DuBois Campus held its 37th commencement ceremony on Saturday. 

The Chancellor, Dr. Anita McDonald, welcomed the faculty, the graduates, their family, and friends to the commencement ceremony. Before introducing the commencement speaker, Dr. McDonald acknowledged some very special guests who were attending the Penn State DuBois Commencement Ceremony. These guests included the 2007 Educator of the Year award winner, Dr. John Spillan, Associate Professor of Business Administration, and the Penn State DuBois Pioneer Alumni who graduated from the campus fifty plus years ago.  Pioneer Alumni in attendance included Mr. David Anderson ’56, Mr. James Meyer ’53, Mr. Francis Winslow ’51, and Mrs. Martha Szalkay Hummel ’53.

The commencement guest speaker was Richard T. Hughes of Clearfield.  A consulting engineer in Clearfield, Mr. Hughes graduated from Penn State in 1981 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering and received his M.S. in Engineering Science in 1990.  His work includes over 200 bridges, an addition to the CIA Headquarters in Langley, VA, more than 20 parking garages, casinos in Atlantic City, and a bridge over the Nile River in Khartoum, Africa. 

Mr. Hughes is the co-author of the book, Building Design and Construction Hazards.  More recently, he has authored a book about Clearfield County titled A Twentieth Century History of Clearfield County, PA. 

In 2004, Mr. Hughes was awarded “Citizen of the Year” from the Clearfield Rotary.  He also is an active member of the Clearfield County Historical Society and has chaired the board of the Clearfield Chamber of Commerce.  Currently, Mr. Hughes is working on strengthening and growing the tourism industry in the Clearfield County area.

In his address, Richard Hughes offered the graduates three pieces of advice.   First, Hughes spoke about the importance of setting goals and that these goals do not need to be set in stone but are important as guides in life.  “The goals you set should be yours alone” Hughes said, “Your goals will change with your life as you progress and grow.”

Second, Hughes spoke about how the graduates will now be working more and spending time with family and friends less. Because of this, Hughes urged the graduates to seek their passion.  “Work will never be work once it is your passion,” Hughes said.

Finally, Hughes spoke about what he considered the most important piece of advice he could offer the graduates, to give back to the communities where they live.  “Every one of you have been bolstered along the way by strangers who donated their time to your community.  Whether it is the Red Cross, firemen, rotary, girl and boy scouts, the American Cancer Society, or little league. People took time out of their lives to make their community a better place.  These things do not just happen.  Every one of you has talent in various areas of interest that would be an asset to your town,” Hughes said. “Your communities need you.”

Seventy-five graduates from the Penn State DuBois Campus and other campuses participated in the commencement ceremony; about half the graduates received Associate Degrees and about half received Bachelor Degrees.  Also, Lauren Aughenbaugh of DuBois, Andrew Collins of Falls Creek, Dana Esposito of Brockway, Eric Lowry of Johnsonburg, Brian Lytle of Clearfield, Heidi Marzolf of Sykesville, Jennifer Rezk of DuBois, and Kristy Troxell of Clearfield all received a Masters of Education in Teaching and Curriculum from Penn State Harrisburg, a program offered at the Penn State DuBois Campus.  Conferring of degrees at Penn State DuBois was Dr. Anita McDonald, Chancellor.  Dr. Robert Loeb, Director of Academic Affairs, presented the academic awards. Other members of the stage party included the President of the DuBois Educational Foundation, Ed Nasuti; Director of Continuing Education, John Piccolo; Assistant Director of Continuing Education, Diana Ricotta; Student Life Coordinator, Rebecca Pennington; Admissions Officer, Melissa Duttry; and Advising Program Coordinator, Linda Enseki.

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