MALVERN, Pa. — Nearly 100 graduate students walked across the stage Friday evening (May 6) to collect their diplomas at Penn State Great Valley’s 26th commencement ceremony. Despite the rainy weather, a large crowd of students, faculty, staff, family, and friends gathered under a white, high-peaked tent to celebrate the graduating class’ achievements in management, engineering, and technology.
Representing both campus and online programs, the students came from diverse backgrounds with a variety of talents. Online students hailed from states including California, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Kentucky, and Maryland, in addition to many towns throughout Pennsylvania. At least eight international students were present, including a student whose family traveled from China to attend the ceremony. Eleven management students were inducted into the Beta Gamma Sigma honor society earlier that evening; five students received outstanding awards in their respective programs during the ceremony; and five veterans received degrees.
Bill McNabb, CEO of Vanguard, gave the commencement address. He spoke about the human qualities that built Vanguard and strengthened the company during the financial crisis in 2008: having passion, a global perspective, a growth mindset, and grit. Speaking directly to graduates, he advised, “Your willingness to learn, change, and grow will serve you well in the years to come. As leaders, you have to be willing to try and fail and try again. That’s certainly not easy. But, if you elect to stand still and wait for the perfect moment to experiment with a new idea, you’ll be left behind.”
McNabb praised the students for their accomplishments, sacrifice, and hard work spent on weekends and evenings. He encouraged them to treat life as a marathon, to persevere, and to appreciate the challenges of the changing world.
“Today, you’re embarking on the next leg of the race,” he concluded. “This is commencement after all. It’s a beginning, not an end, and I encourage you to treat it as such.”