Philadelphia University Celebrates 125th Commencement Ceremony

PhilaU Graduation '09
PhilaU Graduation '09

Graduates walked across the stage at The Mann Center for the Performing Arts yesterday, Sunday, May 17, in front of a cheering crowd of family, friends, faculty and staff during the 125th Commencement ceremony.

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America President and CEO Judith Vredenburgh gave the commencement address and received the honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters. Vredenburgh advised the graduates to stay true to their own set of values and to connect with those values when determining goals and priorities in both a career and life.

Philadelphia University legendary men's basketball coach Herb Magee - known as the "Shot Doc" for his ability to teach pros and student athletes alike how to sink a jump shot - received an honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters.

A Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame nominee, Magee will be celebrating his 50th year at Philadelphia University - as a student, basketball player and coach - starting in fall 2009. During the 2008-2009 basketball season, Magee achieved an all-time record of 880 career wins, passing the lifetime wins of two other extraordinary coaches - former North Carolina coach Dean Smith and former Kentucky Coach Adolph Rupp.

Moshe "Mo" I. Meidar '70, chairman and CEO of MAG Industrial Automation Systems, was presented with the honorary degree Doctor of Engineering.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Gemmill, Esq., outgoing Chair of the Philadelphia University Board of Trustees, who has served in this role for 11 years and member of the Board for 30 years, was presented with an honorary degree Doctor of Humane Letters. William "Bill" Whitmore Jr., president and CEO of Allied Security Inc., is Chairman-elect of the Philadelphia University Board of Trustees.

At Commencement, Anne Bower, Ph.D., a conservation biologist and director of the Environmental and Conservation Biology Program, received the President's Award for Teaching Excellence. Carol Hermann, associate professor of Architecture, received the Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award.

The Sara Tyler Wister Awards for excellence in scholarship are given each year to the students who have earned the highest scholastic average in each academic school. This year's winners were: Peter Dunne, School of Architecture; Kristen Goldy, School of Business Administration; Kristen Bigness, School of Design and Media; Maura Kirk, School of Engineering and Textiles; Janine Noble, School of Science and Health; and Eileen Marriott, Continuing and Professional Studies.

Janine Noble, a graduate of the Physician Assistant Studies Program, was also this year's class valedictorian and she received the President's Award for Excellence as an undergraduate student. Colleen Stephen, who received an M.S. in Textile Design, received the President's Award for Excellence as a graduate student. Eileen Marriot, a graduate of the Human Resource Management Program, received the President's Award for Excellence as a continuing and professional studies student.

Lauren Goodwyn, a Biopsychology major from Bloomfield, N.J., addressed the graduates as the student Commencement speaker. "There are no limits to what this class can do," she said. "We all have the Power to Do."

Goodwyn graduated as a distinguished honors scholar, and has been a member of the Psychology Society, the Honors Program and the Ram Squad. She has also been active in varsity and intramural sports. As a member of the University International Scholars Program, Goodwyn traveled to Istanbul, Turkey, and Tunis, Tunisia.

The University offers congratulations and best wishes to all graduates.  A Commencement weekend photo gallery will be available online this week.