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Mercyhurst University to graduate 963

A total of 963 students will graduate from Mercyhurst University this month with ceremonies taking place over two weekends. Commencement at the North East campus is Saturday, May 14; and, for the Erie campus, Sunday, May 22.

Mercyhurst University President Michael Victor will preside over his first, and the Erie campus's 88th, commencement, welcoming 701 graduates, including 591 baccalaureate degree candidates and 110 master’s degree candidates, at the Erie Insurance Arena, 809 French St., at 2 p.m. on May 22. As outgoing chair of the Mercyhurst Board of Trustees, Marlene Mosco will deliver the Charge from the Board.

Thomas B. Hagen, a distinguished business and civic leader and chairman of the board of the Erie Insurance Group, will receive an honorary Doctor of Laws degree and deliver the commencement address. The honorary degree recognizes Hagen’s lifelong commitment to community leadership and his unwavering dedication to public service to the greater Erie community and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. (See separate story.)

Caleb Ohmer, an English and political science major who served as Mercyhurst Student Government president for 2015-16, has been chosen to receive this year's Carpe Diem Award and will speak during graduation ceremonies as well. The Carpe Diem Award is presented to the senior who has made the most positive impact on the life of the Mercyhurst community and who best exemplifies the university motto, "Carpe Diem" - "Seize the Opportunity."

Students will graduate by college: Hafenmaier College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences, Ridge College of Intelligence Studies and Applied Sciences, Walker College of Business and Management and Zurn College of Natural and Health Sciences.

Earning degrees during proceedings at Mercyhurst North East on Saturday, May 14, are 262 students, representing MNE, Corry and the Booker T. Washington Center. MNE Chief Operating Officer Gary Brown will deliver the welcome during the 1 p.m . ceremony at Liguori Fieldhouse. Commencement speaker is Attorney Richard Lanzillo, chair-elect of the Mercyhurst Board of Trustees. Closing remarks will be delivered by Mercyhurst University Provost David Dausey.

Medal of Honor recipient Pedro Peguero will speak as well. The Medal of Honor is the highest award presented to the graduating student who has had the most positive impact on the life of the North East college community.