MANSFIELD - Three hundred and 30 students received degrees at Mansfield University's 148th Commencement Dec. 15 at Decker Gymnasium.
At the beginning of the ceremony, a moment of silence was observed to honor the memory of the victims of the tragedy in Newtown, Conn.
Before presenting the graduates with their diplomas, interim MU President Allan Golden, who will leave office Dec. 31, told them, "The truth is that you're taking a big leap into a vast world. Believe me when I say, that in this moment of transition, I know how you feel. I have been at Mansfield University not quite two years, first as interim vice president for finance and administration, now as interim president. Through meetings, receptions, athletic and cultural events, I came to know you the students, and the faculty and staff. And before I knew it, I had fallen in love with Mansfield University."
Author William P. Robertson, a 1972 Mansfield graduate was the speaker. He recounted coming to campus 40 years ago as a shy teenager.
"It's even harder to fathom that I'm now standing behind this podium, considering that the only low grade I received at Mansfield State College was in speech," Robertson said with a laugh.
He went on to talk about how Mansfield prepared him for everything he has dealt with in his life.
"I hope that those of you who return 40 years from now to visit, get the same goose bumps as I do walking around campus," Robertson said. "My time at Mansfield was the heyday of my life, and I was truly blessed to have had the opportunity to go to college here."
Also during Commencement, Lewis Lee spoke on behalf of the Council of Trustees and introduced Robertson.
Jeffrey Howe, Class of 2004, first vice president of the Alumni Association, gave the alumni greeting and President Aaron Miller represented the Student Government Association. The MU Brass Band, conducted by Nathan Rinnert, and a Student Choral Quartet, directed by Sheryl Monkelien, provided musical accompaniment for the event.
Professor Adam Brennan served as grand marshal and Professor Lee Wright was herald.