Grove City College awarded degrees to more than 550 graduates Saturday at its 142nd Commencement, including the first to complete the College’s new Master of Science in Business Analytics program.
The Class of 2022’s arrival on the College’s Olmstead Brothers-designed campus Quad was heralded by a trumpet fanfare and observed by a large crowd of family and friends. The ceremony marked the end of their matriculation and the beginning of a new chapter in graduates’ lives.
“Class of 2022, you have solid reasons for celebrating the significance of your achievement,” Grove City President Paul J. McNulty ’80 said. “You have earned a bachelor’s degree from one of the most academically challenging colleges in the country. More importantly, your education has been grounded in a vision for you as a person made in the image of God and called to love him with your heart, mind, soul, and strength and to love your neighbor as yourself. On this foundation we aspire to develop leaders of the highest proficiency, purpose, and principles ready to advance the common good.”
Alumnus Dr. Stephen “Andy” Sems ’95, an acclaimed orthopedic surgeon with the Mayo Clinic, provided the day’s address. Sems, whose work repairing and regenerating malformed and broken bones has improved countless lives, earned a degree in mechanical engineering from Grove City College before attending medical school.
Sems said his undergraduate education prepared him well, but it wasn’t easy. “I know how hard it is to get a degree from Grove City College,” he said. “You have a degree that required you to learn, not just recite information. Your degree was earned through the process of mastering the material, not just learning facts. There were no grades awarded at Grove City College simply for showing up.”
“I know for a fact: you can get anywhere from here,” Sems said.”
Sems received one of three honorary degrees awarded at Commencement in recognition of outstanding accomplishment. In addition to his Doctor of Science honorary, the College awarded Doctor of Humane Letters degrees to former chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees David R. Rathburn ’79 and baccalaureate speaker H. Collin Messer, professor of English.
Board of Trustees Chair Edward D. Breen ’78 told graduates that they are prepared, with soft skills and a moral compass, in combination with various competencies and subject-matter knowledge, to be valuable and successful.
“As you leave here today, may you continue, by God’s great kindness and grace, to expand your proficiencies and hold fast to your principles. In so doing, your value to the world will be limitless,” Breen said.
Student speaker Reese Overholt ’22, a double major in Political Science and History with a minor in Pre-Law from Lakeland, Fla., reflected on the Class of 2022’s educational and spiritual journey at Grove City College and the world they are entering as graduates. "One of the great lessons we learned here is that you always have something to learn from others,” he said.
“We are sent as graduates of Grove City into this world of turmoil. We have the only sure and steady foundation that can anchor us in this tempest,” Overholt said. “Now we enter the world of careers and graduate schools as ready culture makers, prepared community builders, and faithful followers of Jesus Christ. Greatness is never promised us, but faithfulness and trust are always asked of us.”
Grove City College awarded 552 undergraduate degrees Saturday. More than half of the graduates – 314 – earned Bachelor of Science degrees. The rest of the degrees were Bachelor of Arts (149), Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (77), Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (23), and Bachelor of Music (9).
Forty-six percent of the class graduated with cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude honors.
Also Saturday, Anthony Edward Hamilton ’21, ’22 and Justice Craig Rice ’21, ’22 became the first graduates of the new Master of Science in Business Analytics degree program. The online program steeps students in the process of using statistical tools and models to make business decisions, translating modern theory into leadership practice while applying ethical and moral perspectives to relevant applications.
Grove City College’s graduate programs are designed with the career-focused adult learner in mind, with flexible options to complete graduate coursework online, receive personalized attention and network during weekend residencies. For more about graduate programs at Grove City College, visit gcc.edu/gradprograms.