Posted on Saturday, May 14, 2022
More than 300 students earned diplomas during Westminster College’s 168th Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 14, in the College’s Will W. Orr Auditorium.
Two hundred and sixty-four bachelor’s degrees were conferred, including 99 Bachelor of Arts, 139 Bachelor of Science, seven Bachelor of Music and 19 Bachelor of Nursing degrees. An additional 42 master’s degrees were conferred, including 25 Master of Education, 10 Master of Business Administration and seven Master of Arts degrees.
Saturday’s Commencement marked the return to one full ceremony since 2019. The COVID-19 pandemic and social gathering guidelines forced the College to hold multiple ceremonies in 2020 and two ceremonies in 2021.
“We are blessed to be able to gather together for one ceremony this year to celebrate the Class of 2022,” said Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson. “This class faced unprecedented challenges during their years at Westminster. And their perseverance and commitment made it possible for them to achieve the worthy goal of graduating. I’m deeply proud of their achievements—and even more proud of the ways they supported each other and the Westminster community during the long two years of the pandemic. Class of 2022, you truly make me Titan proud.”
William Rankin ’60, trustee emeritus of the Westminster College Board of Trustees, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters during the ceremony. Rankin, who had a 33-year career in human resources management with Pfizer Inc., said Westminster prepared him well for his personal and professional life.
Rankin offered words of advice to the Class of 2022, encouraging them to set goals, maintain a positive attitude, work hard, be kind and love what you do.
“And finally,” Rankin said, “believe in yourself. You have a great Westminster education. Believe in yourself and travel the road to success.”
Senior class speaker John “Jack” Karson '22, an individual interdisciplinary major from New Wilmington, Pa., said that although the future is not known, he and his fellow classmates should embrace their tabula rasa—clean slate.
“Today we stare into the eyes of possibility and it’s exciting and terrifying,” Karson said. “Once again, we enter uncharted territory, a new tabula rasa. This time we need not fear the unknown."
“It’s easy to fear the future after college, especially with the daily news of oppression around the globe and injustice in our own communities. But when so many must navigate life under evil’s thumb, embrace the gift of choice,” Karson said. “We are Westminster Titans. We run toward possibility. We face the unknown and we help each other along the way.”
Senior vocalist Rachel Henry ’22, a music education major and summa cum laude graduate from Titus, Ala., performed the Westminster College Alma Mater to help close out the ceremony.
The day’s festivities began with a Baccalaureate service at 10 a.m. in Orr Auditorium led by the Rev. James Mohr II, campus pastor. The Rev. Dr. Donna Giver-Johnston ’90, pastor of Community Presbyterian Church in Ben Avon, Pa., shared the address “Who Are You?” with the Class of 2022.
Student participants in the morning service included Tyree Reeder ’22, a sports management major from Youngstown, Ohio; Caroline Eader ’22, international studies major and cum laude graduate from Bellefontaine, Ohio; and Constantine Kallaur ’22, an individual interdisciplinary major and summa cum laude graduate from Bethel Park, Pa., all who provided special prayers and readings.
The service included music by student vocalist and psychology major Lauren Lindemuth ’22 of Anchorage, Alaska; flutist and music education major Alyson Pattison ’22 of Johnstown, Pa.; trombonist Emily LaMark ’22 of Canonsburg, Pa., who double majored in molecular biology and music as second major; accompanist and music education major Micah Wojnowski ’22 of Mercer, Pa.; and Henry, who also performed the Alma Mater during the commencement ceremony.
To view the list of graduates, click here.
Above, Jack Karson '22 offers the senior class remarks. Center, honorary degree recipient William Rankin '60, center, poses with Board of Trustees Chair Jeffrey McCandless '80 and Westminster College President Dr. Kathy Brittain Richardson. Below, the Rev. Dr. Donna Giver-Johnston ’90 offers the Baccalaureate address.