The audience gave a round of applause Saturday when Penn State President Eric Barron congratulated the Nittany Lions football team for winning the Big Ten Championship earlier this month.
But that paled in comparison to the applause given when Barron called on active and veteran members of the military to stand for recognition during Saturday afternoon’s graduation ceremony at the Bryce Jordan Center.
Not to sound corny, but everything really is coming up roses for Penn State.
Eric Barron, president
“Not to sound corny, but everything really is coming up roses for Penn State,” Barron said, alluding to Penn State’s berth in the Rose Bowl Game, which will be played Jan. 2.
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Barron was the keynote speaker during commencement at the University Park campus.
This year, because of forecasted inclement weather, Penn State live streamed the ceremonies for anyone who couldn’t make it.
The online option proved beneficial for graduate and accounting major Bobby Tice, 24, and his cousin, communications major Tony Tice, 22, both of Lebanon County.
Their parents and siblings drove to State College on Thursday, just missing some of the rain, sleet and snow that blanketed Centre County overnight Friday and into Saturday.
But not all the family could make it.
The family of some graduates took advantage of a live-streamed graduation.
Bobby Tice said their grandma Rosemary Keleher generally doesn’t leave the county.
“We were actually going to FaceTime her until we found out the university would stream graduation, and we got her all set beforehand,” he said.
The Tice cousins are the first people in their family to graduate from Penn State since their grandfather Charles Keleher — Rosemary’s husband — graduated in the late 1950s.
When the boys Skyped their grandparents after walking the stage, Rosemary Keleher said he was “just so proud of the boys.”
Tony Tice said he hopes an internship he had during the summer at a marketing firm in Philadelphia will help land him a job. Bobby Tice said he plans to take the next semester off and then start graduate school.
“I think Penn State is the kind of place that prepares you for what you want to next whether it’s getting a job or going back to school,” he said. “If we wanted a chance to make it, we were encouraged to get real world experience before graduation that I think that held us prepare for the next step.”
5,247 graduates universitywide
According to Penn State, there were 5,247 graduates universitywide this semester. That included 252 associate degrees, 3,936 bachelor’s degrees, 762 master’s degrees, 11 law degrees and 286 doctoral degrees.