UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State will celebrate the accomplishments of its graduates during its spring 2021 commencement ceremonies, Friday, May 7, through Sunday, May 9.
This spring the University expects to award approximately 14,400 diplomas to students University-wide who are completing 206 associate, 11,807 baccalaureate, 1,756 master's, 214 law, 236 doctoral, and 183 medical degrees. All figures listed are estimates as of April 5; totals do not include the Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Penn State campuses across the commonwealth will be hosting a combination of in-person and virtual events. All in-person attendees will be required to follow COVID-19 pandemic safety regulations. Virtual and livestream options also will be available for students, friends and family members who are unable to attend or prefer to participate online.
University-wide virtual ceremony
In addition to the various in-person ceremonies hosted across the commonwealth, Penn State will also host a University-wide virtual ceremony to help make commencement accessible for all students and their loved ones. Graduates, friends and family members who are unable to attend or prefer to participate online may view the University-wide virtual ceremony at 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 9, at virtual.commencement.psu.edu.
The virtual ceremony will celebrate all undergraduate and graduate students at Commonwealth Campuses, University Park and World Campus — including those also attending an in-person ceremony — and will feature the conferral of degrees, induction into the Alumni Association and more.
Bob McKinnon, author of "Three Little Engines," podcast host and TED speaker, will be the keynote speaker at the virtual spring commencement ceremony.
PENN STATE UNIVERSITY PARK
At University Park, ceremonies will take place May 7-9 in Beaver Stadium, rain or shine, for all undergraduate students at University Park and World Campus and graduate students in the Graduate School at University Park and World Campus who filed their intent to graduate in spring 2021. Pre-registration and tickets are required for all graduates and guests attending ceremonies in Beaver Stadium, and all attendees will be required to follow COVID-19 pandemic safety regulations. More information for attendees is available here.
Guests are encouraged to dress accordingly for the weather; ceremonies will be held in the rain. Please note that umbrellas are not allowed in the stadium. However, in the event of severe weather, outdoor ceremonies at that time will be cancelled and not rescheduled. Graduates and guests should check the University’s commencement website for updates in the event of severe weather.
Thursday, May 6
7 p.m.: The Schreyer Honors College 2021 Spring Medals Ceremony (virtual format). Remarks will be given by President Eric J. Barron, Executive Vice President and Provost Nicholas P. Jones, and Dean Peggy A. Johnson. The event will remain on the college’s website for those who wish to view it at a later date.
Friday, May 7
Noon: The Graduate School — Master's and doctoral candidates only
- Speaker: Lora Weiss, Penn State senior vice president for Research
6 p.m.: College of Engineering — Undergraduate candidates only
- Speaker: Schreyer Honors College Dean and Professor of Civil Engineering Peggy A. Johnson
Saturday, May 8
9 a.m.: Smeal College of Business — Undergraduate candidates only
- Speaker: John M. Arnold, Penn State alumnus, chairman and chief executive officer of PPC Lubricants
- Donald P. Bellisario College of Communications — Undergraduate candidates only
- College of Education — Undergraduate candidates only
- College of Information Sciences and Technology — Undergraduate candidates only
- Speaker: Bob McKinnon, author of "Three Little Engines," podcast host and TED speaker
- College of Arts and Architecture — Undergraduate candidates only
- College of Earth and Mineral Sciences — Undergraduate candidates only
- College of Nursing — Undergraduate candidates only
- Eberly College of Science — Undergraduate candidates only
- Speaker: Titilayo Shodiya, Penn State alumna, deputy quality manager at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, co-founder of MegaOhm Media LLC, and host of the critically acclaimed podcast Dope Labs
Sunday, May 9
- College of Agricultural Sciences — Undergraduate candidates only
- College of Health and Human Development — Undergraduate candidates only
- Speaker: Alison Beam, acting secretary of health at the Pennsylvania Department of Health
1:30 p.m.: College of the Liberal Arts — Undergraduate candidates only
- Speaker: Randy Houston, president, Penn State Alumni Association
PENN STATE COMMONWEALTH CAMPUSES
Penn State Abington
Ceremonies: 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Friday, May 7, Athletic Building parking lot
Speaker: Penn State Abington Chancellor Margo DelliCarpini
Visit Penn State Abington commencement for more information.
Penn State Altoona
Ceremonies: 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saturday, May 8, the Arena of the Adler Athletic Complex
Speaker: Don Cella, class of 2013, owner of Limelight Tile & Ceramics, a Pittsburgh-based custom ceramic tile manufacturing business.
Visit Penn State Altoona commencement for livestreaming and commencement information.
Penn State Beaver
Ceremony: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 8, in parking lot B near the Nittany Lion Shrine
Visit Penn State Beaver commencement for livestreaming and commencement information.
Penn State Berks
Ceremonies: 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, May 8, Santander Arena, Reading
- Keynote: Penn State Berks Chancellor George Grant Jr.
- Remarks to graduates: Jessica Schocker, chairperson, Berks Faculty Senate
Penn State Brandywine
Ceremonies: 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Saturday, May 8, campus gymnasium
- Victor Ficarra, graduating with a bachelor of science in business
- Danielle Guth, graduating with a bachelor of arts in psychology
Visit Penn State Brandywine commencement for more information.
Ceremony: 7 p.m. Thursday, May 13, Cumberland Drive-In, Newville, Pennsylvania
Speaker: Class of 1990 graduate Susan Jin Davis, former chief sustainability officer for Comcast NBCUniversal
Visit Dickinson Law commencement for livestreaming and more information.
Penn State DuBois
Ceremony: 11 a.m. Friday, May 7, Heindl Field, DuBois City Park
Speaker: Penn State DuBois Chancellor M. Scott McBride
Penn State Erie, The Behrend College
Ceremonies: 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at the Behrend soccer stadium
Speaker: Courtney Nagle, associate professor of mathematics education and the department chair for the Secondary Education in Mathematics program at Penn State Behrend
Visit Penn State Erie, The Behrend College commencement for more details. A livestreaming link will be available the day of the program.
Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus
Ceremony: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 8, in the Community Center Main Arena
Speaker: Paula Congelio, vice president of finance/chief financial officer for West Virginia University and 1983 Penn State alumna
Visit Penn State Fayette, The Eberly Campus commencement for more information. Livestreaming will be available.
Penn State Great Valley School of Graduate Professional Studies
Ceremony: 7 p.m. Friday, May 7, parking lot near the Krapf Alumni House at Penn State Great Valley
Speaker: Penn State alumna Karen Norheim, president and chief operating officer of American Crane & Equipment Corp.
Visit Penn State Great Valley commencement for more information.
Penn State Greater Allegheny
Ceremony: 1 p.m. Saturday May 8, in the Wunderley Gymnasium
- Zachary James Schmader, communications degree candidate
- Alisha Tarver, communications degree candidate
Visit Penn State Greater Allegheny commencement for more information.
Penn State Harrisburg
7 p.m. Thursday, May 6, at the Giant Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania (School of Behavioral Sciences and Education and the School of Public Affairs).
- Speaker: Kathryn Sandoe, entrepreneur, business strategist, educator and community leader; Penn State Harrisburg class of 2013 and 2017
2 p.m. Friday, May 7, at the Giant Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania (School of Business Administration and the School of Humanities).
- Speaker: Brian Rusignuolo, executive vice president and chief information officer at Select Medical; Penn State Harrisburg class of 2013
7 p.m. Friday, May 7, at the Giant Center, Hershey, Pennsylvania (School of Science, Engineering, and Technology).
- Speaker: Dennis J. Butler, a Delaware and Pennsylvania attorney; Penn State Harrisburg class of 1993 and 1995
Penn State Hazleton
Ceremony: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 8, at the Sports and Recreation Field at Penn State Hazleton
Speaker: Krista Schneider, executive director of the Downtown Hazleton Alliance for Progress
Visit Penn State Hazleton commencement for more information
Penn State Lehigh Valley
Ceremony: 10:30 a.m. Saturday, May 8, Penn State Lehigh Valley campus
- Keynote speaker: Dr. Suresh Nair, physician-in-chief of Lehigh Valley Cancer Institute and 1982 alumnus
- Student marshal: Savannah Malesky, class of 2020 in corporate communication
Penn State Mont Alto
Ceremonies: 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Saturday, May 8, in the gym in the Multipurpose Activities Center
Speaker: Roxanna Gapstur, president and CEO of Wellspan Health
Penn State New Kensington
10 a.m. Saturday, May 8 (Administration of Justice; Business; Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology; Psychology; and Radiological Sciences), at the Athletic Center
- Speaker: K. R. Bridges, professor emeritus of psychology at Penn State New Kensington
1 p.m. Saturday, May 8 (Biobehavioral Health; Biomedical Engineering Technology; Communications; Information Sciences and Technology; Letters, Arts and Sciences; Nursing; and Project and Supply Chain Management), at the Athletic Center
- Speaker: Marissa Russo, class of 2016, governance, risk and compliance consultant at Seiso LLC and director of communication at Womxn in Tech Pittsburgh
Visit Penn State New Kensington commencement for more information. Livestreaming of both ceremonies will be available.
Penn State Schuylkill
Ceremony: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 8, in an event tent erected on campus adjacent to the Classroom Building
Student speaker: Kiana Rivera, bachelor of arts in psychology
Penn State Scranton
Ceremony: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 8, Business Building parking lot
Visit Penn State Scranton commencement for livestreaming and more information.
Penn State Shenango
Ceremony: 11:30 a.m. Saturday, May 8, on Forker Lawn
- Penn State Shenango Director Jo Anne Carrick
- Penn State alumnus Carl Sizer III, class of 2011, chief financial officer at Primary Health Network, president of the Penn State Shenango Advisory Board, and treasurer of the Penn State Alumni Association
- Graduating senior Donovan Verges, majoring in letters, arts and sciences
Visit Penn State Shenango commencement for more information.
Penn State Wilkes-Barre
Ceremony: 10 a.m. Saturday, May 8, Athletic & Recreation Building
Visit Penn State Wilkes-Barre commencement for more information.
Penn State York
Ceremony: 11 a.m. Saturday, May 8, at PeoplesBank Park, York
Speaker: Penn State alumnus Kevin Schreiber, president and CEO of the York County Economic Alliance