Women's lacrosse seniors participate in special Commencement

Loren Pruitt, Paige McKenna, Kelly Spieker, Bailey Beardsley, Katie Blumenthal, Kelsey Markiewicz had the opportunity to celebrate their graduation in advance of their appearance in the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament this weekend.

Three years ago, the six seniors on the Gettysburg College women's lacrosse team watched as freshmen as three of their teammates walked onto the stage inside Paul Recital Hall for a special graduation ceremony. On Thursday, they were treated to their own graduation event in front of family, friends, and members of the campus community.
Commencement is scheduled for this Sunday, but the six women's lacrosse seniors – Bailey Beardsley, Katie Blumenthal, Kelsey Markiewicz, Paige McKenna , Loren Pruitt , and Kelly Spieker – will be preoccupied with the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament. The Bullets face Middlebury College on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. with Sunday's regional championship slated for 3 p.m.
With the possibility existing that the seniors would miss Sunday's graduation, various campus constituents banded together to put together a ceremony Thursday morning. Gettysburg College President Janet Morgan Riggs, who proudly displayed her national championship ring from 2011, welcomed the gathered audience and soon-to-be graduates, citing their on-field accomplishments as well as their successes away from the turf.
The Commencement Address was given by Dr. Bruce Larson, Associate Professor of Political Science. Larson gave an engaging and empowering speech, often inciting laughter from the gathering. He left the graduates with a few parting words.
"My hope is that the education you received here," said Larson, "with its emphasis on critical thinking, community service, engaged citizenry, and a global vision will help you to negotiate and find deep meaning in the incredible journey on which you are about to embark."
President Riggs went through the conferring of degrees before each filed one-by-one onto the stage to be recognized by the crowd. After a series of pictures with their teammates and families, the new graduates eventually made their way out of Schmucker Hall to get ready for practice later this afternoon at Clark Field.

View photos on Flickr.

"It gives you a definite appreciation for how much work they do for you," said Blumenthal, an organization and management studies major. "You feel appreciated as a student-athlete and the work we put in for the College."

Founded in 1832, Gettysburg College is a highly selective four-year residential college of liberal arts and sciences with a strong academic tradition. Alumni include Rhodes Scholars, a Nobel laureate, and other distinguished scholars. The college enrolls 2,600 undergraduate students and is located on a 200-acre campus adjacent to the Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania.

Contact: Corey Jewart, associate director of athletic communications

Posted: Thu, 15 May 2014

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