Aerial view of campus with Williamsport, the Susquehanna River and Bald Eagle Mountain as a backdrop

Mayor of Williamsport tapped to address Lycoming College 2024 Commencement audience

Mayor of Williamsport tapped to address Lycoming College 2024 Commencement audience

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Williamsport Mayor Derek Slaughter has been invited to address the Class of 2024 students and their loved ones at Lycoming College’s 176th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11. Slaughter will be awarded an honorary Doctor of Laws from Lycoming during the ceremony.

Slaughter made history when he was voted the first Black mayor of the City of Williamsport in 2019, running on a platform of government transparency. A member of City Council for two years before becoming mayor, he won voters over with his commitment to modernizing and streamlining local government.

Born and raised in Williamsport, Slaughter graduated from Williamsport Area High School and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in information sciences and technology from the Pennsylvania State University and then a master’s of education from the University of Maryland. He returned to his hometown to teach in the Williamsport Area School District where he also was the head coach for the girls’ varsity basketball team for 10 seasons. He and his wife, Vanessa, and their three children, reside in Williamsport.

The residents of Williamsport continued to support his leadership when they reelected him to a second term in 2023. Earlier this year, he was honored by Gov. Josh Shapiro with the Governor’s Award for Local Government Excellence in recognition of his dedication to improving public services through innovative initiatives.

As mayor, Slaughter has secured millions of dollars in funding for public safety, parks and recreation, and the recertification of the City's levee. He is bringing economic development projects to Williamsport, putting the City back onto solid financial footing. He sits on the steering committee for the Mayors' Innovation Project, the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD), and the DCED Local Government Advisory Committee (LGAC), and serves as the first vice president of the PA Municipal League.

Slaughter has worked in partnership with Lycoming on projects that benefit both the College and the community. He has been instrumental in the ongoing revitalization of Williamsport’s Old City neighborhood, a crucial part of an enhanced arrival sequence to the College. He also facilitated a City partnership with the College in the construction of Lycoming College’s new baseball facility at Brandon Park. In addition to being the home of Lycoming baseball, it will serve as a premier field for local, regional, and even national contests.

Slaughter has been a staunch and active supporter of Lycoming College since his election. As one of his earliest acts as mayor, he helped the College dedicate a plaque to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s visit to campus and address to the college community in Clarke Chapel. Slaughter delivered the keynote at the dedication event to an audience of students, faculty, staff, community members and College alumni – some of whom had attended King’s speech when they were Lycoming students in 1958.

He has on multiple occasions joined classes, events, or other activities to help impress upon our students the importance of the electoral process and the power of each ballot. Slaughter has even supported the education of our students by participating in a student film thesis for a senior graduating in May.

Cathryn Brought to deliver senior greeting

Graduating senior Cathryn Brought, a biology major with a minor in Spanish from Wellsboro, Pa., was selected to deliver this year’s senior greeting at the 2024 Commencement ceremony. She was selected for the honor by the Senior Class Officers, and the faculty and staff who serve on the Senior Greeting Selection Committee.

Brought is an active member of the Lycoming College campus community. Her involvement includes having been a member of the women’s basketball and swimming teams, and a current member of the women’s softball team. She is a Lycoming Scholar, as well as a member of the Pre-Health Society and Tri-Beta Biology Honor Society. Brought also served as an admissions tour guide during her time as a student, as well as a captain and an admissions office assistant.

More information about the event is available at:

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