President Flynn speaking at convocation

Longest serving president will confer hundreds of degrees at Alvernia graduation

Reading, Pa. – As he did in his inaugural year, Alvernia University's longest-serving president Thomas F. Flynn, will serve as commencement speaker for the institution's 58th  annual Commencement Ceremony.


“As I enter the final few months of my time at Alvernia, I am deeply grateful for the privilege to serve as president," said Flynn. "I am honored for the opportunity to share some reflections with the impressive graduates of the Class of 2019, many of whom I have come to know personally. Along with their fellow students and our terrific faculty and staff, they have made my Alvernia journey so rewarding."


Flynn, Alvernia’s sixth president, having served since 2005, delivered commencement remarks at his first commencement in 2006 when the distinguished honored guest, Dr. Mary Louise Fennell, a Sister of Mercy and national leader in Catholic higher education, was unable to attend the ceremony due to health concerns.


Flynn’s 14 years of transformation leadership ends on June 30. During his tenure as president, guided by its inclusive Franciscan core values, Alvernia went from being a little known local college to a comprehensive, regional university, recognized both as an anchor institution for the local community and as a national leader in community service, civic engagement, and interfaith dialogue due in large part to the establishment of the O’Pake Institute for Ethics, Leadership and Public Servicethe Holleran Center for Community and Global Engagement, and the Reading Collegiate Scholars Program.


Among his many accomplishments is the transformation of the physical campus, with a new campus entrance; Founder's Village and the Campus Commons; upgraded facilities for teaching and learning, fine arts and athletics; and the Flynn PLEX, a 100,000 square foot Recreation, Wellness and Health Sciences Complex that opens fall 2019.


Honorary degree recipients include longtime Alvernia Behavioral Health faculty member, George J. Vogel, Jr., and former Alvernia trustee and distinguished president emerita of St. Bonaventure University, Sr. Margaret Carney, O.S.F., S.T.D.


Commencement is May 11, 2 p.m. at Santander Arena.