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On Saturday, May 13, Cedar Crest College held its 153rd Commencement Ceremony at the PPL Center in Allentown, PA. The College conferred approximately 210 bachelor’s, 63 master’s and 10 doctoral degrees on graduates of the Class of 2023.
Cedar Crest College President Dr. Elizabeth M. Meade presided over the ceremony and addressed the students, their families and supporters, faculty, and staff in attendance.
“Graduates, I stand in awe of you,” President Meade said in her opening remarks. “You came to Cedar Crest from 23 different states and 12 different countries, and you made our campus and community your home.
“You exemplify the beautiful diversity of our community, with unique intersectional identities across every spectrum of race, ethnicity, age, and gender. You are the living embodiment of our commitment to open the doors of education to all who want one and to educate students at every stage of life and experience.”
“The world beyond these doors is waiting for you to add your most authentic self, to add your brilliance, your energy, your ability to address the most complex issues of our time. This institution has prepared you … It has poured into you and has ensured that whatever comes next, you are ready.”
- Anta Cissé-Green ’95
In her keynote address, Anta Cissé-Green ’95, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer acknowledged the profound impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the Class of 2023’s educational journey. “Don't forget that you, too, are a once in a generation phenomenon. You have been tested and you survived and thrived.”
“The world beyond these doors is waiting for you to add your most authentic self, to add your brilliance, your energy, your ability to address the most complex issues of our time,” Cissé-Green continued. “This institution has prepared you … It has poured into you and has ensured that whatever comes next, you are ready.”
The ceremony also included a Traditional Student and a School of Adult and Graduate Education (SAGE) Student Address.
“Teach people to use their voices, teach them how to step outside of their comfort zone. Encourage them,” urged Johnay Cranford ’23, in her remarks, “tell them not to fear failure, tell them to fight for what they believe in. And tell them to never stop building community. These are the lessons our home has taught us — these are the lessons that will live in us forever.”
Eveyln Hydock ’23 raised two adult children before earning a Bachelor of Science degree this year. “I am proud to say that I am the first generation in my family to graduate from college,” she told the crowd, who responded with spontaneous applause. "Today I stand before you as a living testament to the fact that dreams do come true if you believe in yourself and work hard.”
The ceremony also recognized four outstanding students with prestigious awards:
Morgan Elizabeth Love received the Alumnae Prize
Annie Elizabeth Kreiser was honored with the Frank M. Cressman Prize
Rosemarie Elizabeth Patricia Ann Kramer was awarded the Reuben J. Butz Prize
Abigail Rose Martin received the Virginia (Ginny) M. Mihalik '77 Prize
Commencement marked the culmination of a week-long series of events celebrating the achievements of the Class of 2023.