MANSFIELD, PA (08/19/2022) Mansfield, part of Commonwealth University, kicked off its 2022-23 academic year with its annual convocation on Friday, Aug. 19, at Straughn Auditorium.
The Grand Marshal was Dr. Brad Lint from the Department of English, who also served as master of ceremonies. He presented a history of the institution to the students and the faculty assembled highlighting the various name changes of the institution.
President Bashar Hanna followed by thanking all those assembled.
“To our faculty and our staff, thank you for your support of our new and returning Mountie students,” Hanna said. “You have persevered through several years of constant change as we have evolved to continue serving our students.”
“Together, we are creating an environment of stability and sustainable growth at Mansfield, ensuring that Mansfield as part of Commonwealth University will continue to be an affordable, destination campus serving the Northern Tier, the State of Pennsylvania, and beyond,” he continued.
Provost and senior Vice President, Diana Rogers Adkinson, noted how the faculty prepares students for the world.
“Our students are arriving to us with big goals and big dreams. The relationships they form with you, the lessons they take and skills they learn in your classrooms prepare them for lives and careers of great meaning and significance,” Rogers-Adkinson said.
The faculty speaker was Dr. Peggy Dettwiler, director of choral activities, who spoke to the theme of “Look to this Day.”
Dettweiler shared the story of having suffered from a rare disease known as French polio in the early 1980s, which caused her to be temporarily paralyzed and on a respirator. Some life lessons she gained during that period of her life included:
- Despite the fact that her body was completely “out of commission,” she felt like a whole person with the full range of emotions of a normal human being. She came to the conclusion that our bodies are our houses, not who we are.
- From day one, the doctor told her she would get worse, but then, the disease would go into remission. Having hope makes all the difference when facing any difficulty!
- There wasn’t a day that she didn’t receive a visitor or a get-well card. Remember this when others are ill or struggling!
- She found her inner strength through her illness. She learned life is unpredictable. There will be good and bad days. Strive to make something positive rise from the ashes.
The poem “Look to the Day” by Kalidasa later in life, became a motivating factor for her.
“Laying in the hospital not being able to communicate left me time to think,” Dettweiler said. “I urge you as students to have hope, take risks, and find joy where you can.”
Following the ceremony, a class photo with the members of the Class of 2022 was taken, along with a campus picnic.
A food drive was also held to benefit the United Christian Ministries.
The integration of Bloomsburg, Lock Haven, and Mansfield universities under the banner of Commonwealth University is a bold investment in the communities and people of Pennsylvania. Our mission is to expand high-quality, affordable academic opportunities to support the needs of all learners. We’re building a powerful tomorrow by boldly changing the trajectory of public higher education to position ourselves for growth, increased access, and to meet economic and workforce development needs. Together we’re honoring our history, investing in today, and building a powerful tomorrow. That’s the power of three.