Micah Yarbray Class of 2023 Commencement Speech

Micah Yarbray '23 highlights commitment to social justice and human rights in her dynamic, emotional speech

University community celebrates class of over 600 on campus 

Alvernia University celebrates more than 600 students in the Class of 2023 with a pair of commencement ceremonies in front of family and friends at the university’s stadium.  


“For President Loyack and me personally, this is a very special day. Four years ago, we welcomed many of you, both students and guests alike, to our university at our Opening Convocation,” said President-Elect, Dr. Glynis A. Fitzgerald. “Flash forward to today and I can honestly say we have transformed together in so many ways. I’ve loved the opportunities to get to know you and your unique stories.” 


Graduates earned associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees as the university celebrated a split commencement. The graduates from the College of Health Sciences and the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics were honored during the morning ceremony, while the graduates from the College of Business, Communication and Leadership and the College of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences were honored during the afternoon ceremony. 


“Fellow graduates, when you venture out into your prospective careers and aspirations, never forget the gifts we have received AND shared at Alvernia University from our mission,” said one of the class of 2022 student speakers Micah Yarbray. “Commit yourselves to social justice and human rights. Remember our service to others in the local and global community. Believe in the basic goodness of life through joy and optimism and maintain a sense of responsibility to yourself and others... Congratulations to the Alvernia University Class of 2023, we did it.” 


Outgoing President John R. Loyack and Pennsylvania State Acting Secretary of education Dr. Khalid D. Mumin were presented with honorary degrees during the ceremony. Loyack also provided remarks at both ceremonies. 


As President Loyack gave a heart felt goodbye and congratulations to his first incoming class, he stressed finding the right work-life balance as the key to a successful life, “when career passion meets talent and aligns with the timeline of our lives including family, responsibilities, and interests, we position ourselves for true success.” He also thanked all those that made his Presidency an overwhelming success, “when great ideas meet great people, success is a certainty.”