Mansfield University celebrates commencement

PHOTO PROVIDED Cecil Cooper, of Tioga, receives his diploma from Scott Barton, MU interim president.

MANSFIELD — Two hundred thirty three students received degrees at Mansfield University’s 153rd Commencement recently at Decker Gymnasium.

“Your Mansfield degree coupled with your Mansfield experience will help you achieve things you only dreamed about before arriving here,” Scott Barton, MU interim president, told the graduates. “Our Mansfield Creed teaches us all about integrity, about learning, about celebrating humanity and about helping others. These core principles will help you on your continuous journey towards being the best version of yourself. Be bold and stay bold. Take chances and stay committed.”

J. Dennis “Denny” Murray, professor emeritus of Psychology, was the speaker. Murray taught and served in a variety of academic administrative roles for 37 years at Mansfield.

“When you hear that phrase about the responsibilities that accompany your dearly earned degree, please think about these three imperatives: Continue to learn while thinking critically; practice caring and empathic understanding of others; and act with integrity and courage to make a difference,” Murray said. “I hope you agree that these responsibilities reflect the principles of the Mansfield Creed: Character, Scholarship, Culture and Service.”

“Finally, one more thing to add to that earlier list of instructions, be hopeful,” he said. “It’s easy to be discouraged and to feel hopeless about the future. I encourage you to be steadfastly committed to hope; to the expectation that things will get better. It’s only by holding on to an attitude of hope and by building communities of action and courage that things can get better. We need you at full strength as you take on the challenges and wonderful opportunities that await you. Go for it. All of us in the MU family eagerly look forward to seeing the differences you will make and the better world you will help build.”

Also during commencement, MacKenzie Hafer, ’18, represented the Council of Trustees and introduced Murray, President Joanie Cole Berney, ’86, represented the Alumni Association, and President Tyler Walter, ’19, represented the Student Government Association.

The Mountaineer Brass Band, conducted by associate professor Nathan Rinnert, provided musical accompaniment for the event. Music major Cassie Zinkan was soloist. Campus minister Lynn Johnson delivered the convocation.

Assistant professor Jonathan Rothermel served as grand marshal. Professor Scott Davis was herald.