Penn State York to celebrate spring commencement May 6

Students about to graduate, and members of the platform party, gather outside the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center theater prior to the start of the commencement ceremony in spring 2015. The spring 2016 commencement ceremony will take place at 6 p.m. May 6. Credit: Barbara Dennis / Penn StateCreative Commons

YORK, Pa. — Penn State York will celebrate its 46th annual spring commencement at 6 p.m. Friday, May 6, in the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center at the campus. The ceremony is free and open to the public.  Michael F. Allen, executive vice president for business development at Harford Bank, Aberdeen, Maryland, is the commencement speaker. Harford Bank is a community bank headquartered in Harford County, Maryland, and for more than 50 years has provided capital and financial resources to people, organizations and businesses in northeastern Maryland. A familiar face on campus, Allen is the former executive-in-residence of The Graham Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies (The Graham Center) at Penn State York. He continues to serve on the Penn State York Advisory Board and is a member of the new Graham Advisory Board.The Graham Center is a program designed to develop and enhance students’ workplace leadership skills. It includes students from a variety of academic disciplines and provides them with a set of practical tools that complement the quality education they are receiving at Penn State York. In some instances, students may also be involved in internships.During his tenure as executive-in-residence of The Graham Center, Allen had a tremendously positive impact on the program and its students. He helped increase the visibility of The Graham Center on campus and in the community and worked to tell the story of The Graham Center to students, faculty, staff and community leaders. His efforts resulted in an increased number of recommendations and applications to the program. There are now more than 50 students participating in The Graham Center.Allen also helped establish curriculum, including the addition of credit courses as part of the requirements for program completion, which will help better prepare students to be adaptable and effective workplace leaders. To help students become more aware of their personality and behavioral characteristics, an emotional intelligence (“EQ”) training component was also added to the program. Finally, just prior to leaving The Graham Center and returning to banking, Allen helped establish the Graham Advisory Board. This group, comprised of local businesses and organization leaders, is charged with helping set the future course of The Graham Center, and ensuring that the strategic vision is properly aligned with the needs of the greater employer community.   Prior to joining The Graham Center, Allen spent more than 30 years in the banking industry. He most recently held the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer for PeoplesBank, a $1.4 billion financial services company headquartered in York. Prior to his work with PeoplesBank, he held the position of executive vice president and chief credit officer at Kish Bank in State College. The majority of Allen’s banking career was spent with the Mercantile Bankshares Corporation (now PNC), formerly headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. He joined the Mercantile organization after attending Penn State, where he majored in political science.Allen’s volunteer activities included work with Penn State University Park, Pennsylvania Bankers Association, the York County Economic Alliance, the American Red Cross of South Central Pennsylvania, and a wide array of other nonprofit organizations.  He resides in York with his wife, Susan, and their three children.   In addition to Allen, commencement speakers include the following students: a top graduating senior in Penn State York’s baccalaureate programs, Bethany Nicole Test, from Red Lion, who will graduate with a bachelor of science in science with a minor in  human development and family studies;  a top associate degree graduate, Peggy Costa, from York, who will graduate with an associate degree in human development and family studies; and a top master’s degree graduate, Kellye Michele Ness, from York, who will graduate with a master of education in teaching and curriculum.Penn State York will award five master of education degrees in teaching and curriculum degrees; 42 baccalaureate degrees; five bachelor of arts degrees in communication arts and sciences; two bachelor of arts degrees in English; 11 bachelor of science degress in business; six bachelor of science degrees in electro-mechanical engineering technology; 11 bachelor of science degrees in human development and family studies; five bachelor of science degrees in information sciences and technology; and two bachelor of science degrees in science. The campus will also award 12 associate degrees — two in letters, arts, and sciences; two in business administration; three in human development and family studies; and five in information sciences and technology.  Seven students who completed their work at another Penn State location will return to York to receive a degree during the ceremony.Penn State York will continue its open microphone tradition, which gives graduates the opportunity to speak to the audience for a moment after receiving their degree.

For those who cannot attend the event, Penn State York’s commencement can be viewed on Comcast cable (Channel 18) or streaming live on the campus website.

Michael F. Allen is the commencement speaker at Penn State York. Credit: Penn StateCreative Commons

Last Updated May 05, 2016