Commencement 2021

Classes of 2020 and 2021 honored in dual ceremony at First Energy stadium


More than 650 students from the Alvernia graduating classes of 2020 and 2021 walked across the stage in front of family and friends at First Energy Stadium during two ceremonies to officially earned associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees.


“The challenges of the past year have taught us that we should enjoy each day, live in the moment, and share time with those we are closest to,” said Alvernia University President John R. Loyack, who presided over his first commencement ceremony since taking office in July 2019. “As you celebrate, be sure to express your gratitude to those who believed in you, sacrificed for you and helped lead you to this milestone.”


During the morning ceremony, the class of 2020, who was unable to participate in a commencement ceremony last May due to the rising threat of the COVID-19 pandemic, had 235 graduates cross the stage.


“Here at Alvernia, college wasn’t just passing general education courses by bare minimum or studying all night to pass a test you have to get a good grade on,” said class of 2020 student speaker Brianna Buckley. “It was about showing you how you impact the world around you and teaching you how to do it in great ways.”


During the second ceremony, 430 graduates from the Class of 2021 were conferred and walked across the stage. A little over 700 will receive their diplomas this summer.


“I hope you know that you are all agents of change,” said Reading native and senior scholar Datnilza Metz ’21. “I hope you’ve found or find what you love to do and fill your life with your passions. You have the privilege of creating meaning in your life so that others might come to enjoy that privilege.”


During the ceremonies, longtime trustees Thomas E. Beeman, Ph.D., FACHE, FCPP, Rear Adm. (ret) and Kathleen Herbein ’95 were presented with honorary degrees. Beeman also provided remarks for both ceremonies.


“So set your soul on true north using what you have learned here at Alvernia to serve yourself, your family and your community and that will change the world,” said Beeman. “Go, and live and be lovingly dangerous.”