MANSFIELD - Before they walk across the stage to receive their diplomas, Mansfield University's newest graduates were encouraged to enjoy their successes, cherish the bond they have with each other and their soon-to-be alma mater and make the most of the opportunities they've been prepared for.
Martin Pane was the guest speaker for the annual graduation celebration held on Friday.
Pane, who earned his bachelor's degree in criminal justice administration in 1987, is the U.S. Marshal for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, an area that covers 33 counties including Tioga County. During his 25 years with the U.S. Marshals Service, he is the first and only person to earn promotion to every managerial position in the Middle District.
"Just like me - your family, your professors and this institution have prepared you for the future," Pane told the graduates. "First, if you work hard, and keep a good perspective on your job and life, you will succeed. Second, challenge yourself. Don't stay in the comfort zone; it tends to keep doors closed. Third, be humble. Think of your legacy and walk the line.
"As you rise through the ranks and excel in your field, share the knowledge that you have learned or mentor someone who will follow," Pane added. "We all have a responsibility to leave this world a better place that when we arrived."
The graduation celebration brings together graduates and university administration, faculty and staff on the day before commencement. Special recognition is given to the candidates for outstanding senior.
Interim President Allan Golden and Associate Professor Jeffrey Bosworth, chairman of the Outstanding Senior Committee, presented each candidate with a certificate. The Outstanding Senior Award will be presented at commencement at 11 a.m. today (Saturday, May 18) at Decker Gymnasium.
Also at the celebration, Alumni Association President Stephanie Adams Ulmer, Class of 2004, welcomed the graduates to the ranks of alumni and urged them to stay connected with their soon to-be alma mater and support the university in any way they can.