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Spring Commencement 2012
May 12, 2012
MANSFIELD, PA— Four hundred and twelve students received degrees at Mansfield University’s 147th Commencement on Saturday, May 12 at Decker Gymnasium.
Before presenting the graduates with their diplomas, interim MU President Allan Golden told them, “In my 40 plus year career in higher education, this is my first opportunity to stand before a graduating class. I cherish this moment especially since it’s occurring at Mansfield University. In my 16 months here, first as Interim Vice President for Finance and Administration and now as Interim President, I have developed a deep affection for Mansfield. I know you will cherish the moment as a graduate.”
Golden talked about all the physical changes that have occurred on campus during the time the Class of 2012 had been at MU and said, “But as large and significant as these markers are of our stability and progress, they are small compared to the changes and growth you have seen in yourselves, what you have learned about the world, about others around you, and about yourself. Feel proud of your accomplishments, very proud. Take the weekend to celebrate, then go out and make your mark.”
Harold C. Shields, principal in Harold C. Shields HR Consulting, LLC and a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) Board of Governors, was the speaker.
With a theme of leadership, Shields recounted learning early on from his grandmother, uncles and others about what it truly means to be a leader.“You can boil all the leadership catch-phrases and buzz-words down to three simple phrases, sort of like the sap from the maple tree is boiled to make syrup,” he said.
“After all the rhetoric, and all the discussion, you must, first, imagine it, second, communicate it, and third, get ’er done! That may be a slight over-simplification. It takes much more than reading or hearing about leadership, or even speaking the word leadership, or being anointed as a leader, to be an effective one.”
“Each of us has leadership inside,” Shields told the graduates. “Some will possess only potential leadership and stay dormant, while others will use their kinetic leadership and move to action. My challenge to each of you is to move from the potential state to the kinetic state and maintain your leadership momentum. It’s time for you to think like a leader, act like a leader and be a leader.”
Amanda Ward of Troy, PA was named this year's Outstanding Senior. Nominated by the Department of History, Philosophy & Political Science, Ward graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. She worked two jobs while pursuing her degree; one as a supplemental instructor on campus and the other as a supervisor at the Martha Lloyd Community Services Home for developmentally challenged adults. Ward plans on pursuing a Ph.D. program in Russian history.
Also during Commencement, Chair Ralph Meyer spoke on behalf of the Council of Trustees and introduced Shields. Amy Dupree Brooks ’80, president of the Alumni Association, gave the alumni greeting and President Thomas Thornton represented the Student Government Association. Professor Emeritus Larry Nesbit represented the Mansfield University Foundation and presented the class gift. The MU Concert Wind Ensemble, conducted by graduate assistant Theodore Lentz, provided musical accompaniment for the event.