Lycoming College will hold commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2015 on Saturday, May 9 at 2 p.m. on the Quad. Three hundred and twenty seven undergraduates will receive degrees during the college’s 167th commencement. In the event of inclement weather, the ceremony will in the Recreation Center. The Baccalaureate service will be held the prior day, May 8, at 5 p.m. in the Recreation Center.
Lycoming will confer two honorary degrees during commencement. Peter R. Lynn ‘69, president and chief executive officer of Government Retirement & Benefits, Inc. will receive the degree Doctor of Laws. Lynn is completing a term as Chair of the Lycoming College Board of Trustees. The Honorable Thomas I. Vanaskie ‘75, Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, will receive the degree Doctor of Laws. Vanaskie will serve as commencement speaker.
Lynn was employed by the U.S. General Accounting Office in Washington, D.C., for 17 years. Upon leaving the GAO, he founded Government Retirement & Benefits, Incorporated. Lynn has been a member of the Lycoming College Board of Trustees since 2002 and was appointed Chairman of the Board in 2011. Lynn and his wife Joyce made the lead gift for the Lynn Science Center , which is expected to open in the fall of this year.
A distinguished jurist, Vanaskie serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, which is one step below the Supreme Court. In 1994, President Bill Clinton nominated him to the United States District Court for the middle district of Pennsylvania, a seat he held from 1994-2006. In 2010, President Barack Obama nominated him to the Court of Appeals. In 2013, Vanaskie was inducted to the Academic All-America Hall of Fame of the College Sports Information Directors. In 2014, the NCAA Division III featured him as one of forty student-athletes who, during the first forty years of Division III, best exemplified the values that define Division III sports.
Bridget Bellmore, of Curwensville Pa., was selected to bring greetings from the senior class. Bellmore has majored in creative writing and minored in business administration.. She is a member of Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society and recently completed departmental honors in English. She has also been elected to membership in Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. She serves as the president of United Campus Ministries and has been a member of the Lycoming College Choir, Chamber Choir, and Tour Choir. Bellmore served as the Managing Editor of the Tributary, Lycoming's literary magazine and worked as a writing tutor in the Writing Center.
Four seniors have been selected to address the class during the Baccalaureate service: Emily Schumann, from Fair Hills, N.J., has majors in both creative writing and painting; Taylor Kendra, from Sellersville, has majors in both archaeology and creative writing and recently received the college’s prestigious Chieftain Award; Nathan Bahn, from Abbottstown, has majors in both German and international studies; and Michael Stefan, from Bel Air, Md., has a major in criminology. Upon the close of the ceremony, Dr. Edward Gabriel, Ph.D., will offer a brief charge to the guests.
Gabriel is an associate professor of biology and environmental science and will be retiring after 38 years with the college. Over his tenure, he served as the academic advisor for many students and the Health Professions Advisory Committee Chair for over 25 years. His special interests include genetics, radiation and cellular biology.