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More than 500 earn degrees at Fall Commencement
Dr. Pawan Kahol, dean of Graduate & Continuing Studies, congratulates one of PSU's newest alumni at Commencement Friday.

More than 500 earn degrees at Fall Commencement

More than 500 students achieved personal milestones with the conferring of degrees Friday at Fall Commencement: 141 of them earned Master's, Doctor of Nurse Practice, and Specialist in Education degrees, and 375 of them earned Bachelor's and Associate degrees.

President Steve Scott also achieved a personal milestone: the 8 p.m. ceremony was his 50th Commencement over which to officiate.  

In addressing the new graduates, Scott noted that those degrees will "open doors, help you make connections, and sustain you during good — and most importantly — in challenging times." 

Scott is known for commencement addresses in which he quotes authors, philosophers, coaches, athletes, past presidents, and even Broadway show lyrics. Friday, he turned to sharing bits of wisdom from the graduates themselves: He quoted their mortar boards, from "We're all stories in the end. I'm making mine a good one," to "Be greater than average," to "Believe there is good." 

He also singled out MBA student Luis Rodriguez, from Venezuela, who self-published a book about his inspiration — his mother — and political science graduate Clyven Exantus, from Haiti, who was commissioned that day as a second lieutenant in the U.S. Army. 

In addition to Scott, the graduates heard from Provost Lynette Olson and Dave Murfin, a member of the Kansas Board of Regents, who spoke on behalf of the governing body. 

Olson noted that for those who earn a bachelor's degree, the annual median income is 67 percent higher than those with a high school diploma, and for those who earn a master's degree, the annual median income is nearly $72,000 a year — almost twice as much as those with a high school diploma. 

"You've been challenged in ways you never could have imagined, and you've thrived because of it," she said. "Your experiences have pushed you to grow academically, physically, and emotionally. You have been transformed." 

Murfin, who is the CEO of a drilling company and one of the largest John Deer Construction dealerships in North America, told the students that "higher education remains the best way for people to improve the quality of their own lives, to raise the standard of living for their families, and to contribute to the advancement of our communities, and to ensure the state's economic prosperity ..." 

"...You're the ones who will move our communities forward in the future," Murfin said, who asked the students to remain in Kansas.  

"You're the lifeblood and future of the state," he said.

Videos

To view Commencement videos, visit the following links:

College of Arts & Sciences and Kelce College of Business:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oVxOgPOPx2o

College of Education and College of Technology:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewP7Ab_iWP8

President Steve Scott's Address (5 p.m.):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3yuXwtdXHKA

President Steve Scott's Address (8 p.m.):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cTJ0KwrYfQc

Provost Lynette Olson's Address:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZ_vxzFGw54

Regent Dave Murfin's Address:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpY8xWWJBec

Soloist Kendra Switzer's Performance:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcGcnATLYdg

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