Commencement ceremonies, which are held every fall and spring, are public recognition of our students' accomplishments. Since the inaugural class of 1960, more than 10,700 alumni have attended Penn State New Kensington and earned a Penn State degree.
Important dates and deadlines:
Intent to graduate activation period for fall has ended, please contact the Registrar's Office if you have not set your intent on eLion.
Commencement rehearsal, Wednesday, December 4, 2013 at 12:00 noon in the Forum Theatre.
Fall commencement ceremony, Saturday, December 21, 2013, at 10:00 a.m. in the Forum Theatre.
Important information for graduates:
This page provides important information for graduates and their families including:
- Commencement Speaker
- Guest information (directions, parking, and special needs)
- Bookstore information
- Academic attire
- Honors medals and pins
- The procession
- Alumni Association
FALL COMMENCEMENT SPEAKER - Dr. Lisa Veitch
Dr. Veitch applied to Penn State University, New Kensington Campus in the spring of 1979. She also received a scholarship from Plum Borough as well as from PSUNK that spring. She graduated in 1983 with a Bachelor of Science in Ceramic Science and Engineering degree and opted to receive her diploma at PSUNK where she also gave the commencement speech.
She went to work at Delco Electronics, at that time a subsidiary of GM, in Kokomo IN as a production line engineer on the semiconductor line. She supervised operators in the diffusion side of the semiconductor area on 3rd shift and then moved to the pilot line to develop new semiconductor chips for the comfort control systems in GM cars. Since there wasn’t much to do during the day, she went back to school part time at Purdue University for her Master Degree in Materials Science and Engineering while still working full time at Delco. Upon receiving her degree, she decided to leave GM and go full time for her PhD in the same discipline. The work she did for her PhD was supported by the Office of Naval Research and the outcome has been further developed for military and commercial systems.
After Purdue, she became a researcher at NASA Glenn Research Center in 1989. There, she was involved in developing ceramic matrix composite materials for gas turbine engines. She also spent a year at NASA Langley Research Center as the Deputy Technical Integration Program Manager for the High Speed Research Program. In that capacity, she had oversight with integration of all of the developing technologies towards a supersonic commercial air vehicle.
In 1989, she decided to change careers and ended up at the Institute for Defense Analyses (IDA) in Alexandria, VA. This is one of the premier think tanks for the Department of Defense that has been around since 1948. IDA provides independent assessments directly to the Defense Department on technologies they are supporting, new weapon systems and a variety of defense issues. IDA also has provided assessments and support to other government agencies as well including the CIA, FBI, NASA and DoE. Lisa has been involved in a number of new weapon systems over the last 17+ years including the Joint Strike Fighter, Comanche helicopter, and the Presidential Helicopter and her assessments have led to either the Defense Department restructuring the program or have supported their decision to terminate the programs. She’s also been involved in a number of modernization programs (CH-47 Chinook helicopters and UH-60 Blackhawk helicopters) as well as new technologies that the Defense Department is developing to increase effectiveness on the battlefield. She worked several NASA assessments related to their work in the aeronautics area which she was very familiar with. Throughout Lisa’s careers, she has authored or co-authored over 40 publications and filed a patent for a coating she developed for ceramic materials at NASA.
Over the years, Lisa has been involved in a variety of professional societies including the American Ceramic Society, the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, SAMPE, and the Air Force Association. She’s also served on the Penn State University Women in Engineering Board from 1999-2001. She’s received several awards and honors including Plum Senior High School Distinguished Alumni Award 2011, Exceptional Performance Award from NASA Vehicle Systems Program in 2004, the 2004 NASA TGIR Award for the Supersonic Flight Demonstration, Honorary Exemplar for the Ohio Academy of Science, An Evening to Celebrate Women from Penn State University New Kensington Campus, Special Services Award from NASA Glenn Research Center, Tau Beta Pi, Alpha Sigma Mu, and Keramos.
Lisa has also given back to the community. She has given seminars in classes at Plum Senior High, Penn State New Kensington Campus, and a variety of schools in the Cleveland area and other parts of the US on her experiences and the importance of math and science. She also tutored inner city 7th graders in Cleveland as well at a local high school in Alexandria, VA. And she has mentored a number of men and women over the years pursing degrees in engineering, all of which have had exceptional careers.
Besides working, Lisa has a variety of hobbies. She is a licensed private general aviation pilot with a rating in single engine, land, high performance aircraft as well as tail wheel airplanes. She’s flown in and out of a number of airports across the continental US and Hawaii. She’s also is a certified scuba diver and has dived in the Great Barrier Reef, Hawaii, and the Caribbean. She still plays the piano and in recent years, she’s taken up ballroom dancing. She lives in Alexandria, VA with her two cats, the 16 pound tuxedo grey Yvonne and her 10 pound white and grey litter mate, Cheryl.
Friends and family of the graduates are very welcome at the Commencement Ceremony. Each graduate is encouraged to invite their family and friends to participate in their special day. Floor seating will be available for our guests with special needs; and handicapped parking spaces are designated in the front row of our Athletics Center parking lot for Spring graduations, and in the front near the main entrance for Fall ceremonies.
Academic regalia (Cap and Gown) is available through our Bookstore. It is now made of "green" biodegradable material. Please order your regalia early. If you require special sizing, please order as soon as possible. See details below under Academic Attire.
Print ready Penn State graduation announcements, invitations and thank-you cards are available online at: http://www.overlypub.com/. Class rings and jewelry can be ordered through the bookstore and are also available for purchase on the Jostens website at: http://college.jostens.com/.
The bookstore will be open special hours for your graduation needs, gifts, or just to browse. For additional information, you may contact the bookstore at: 724-334-6170.
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In observance of tradition, all participants in the Commencement Ceremony will wear full academic regalia, consisting of a traditional gown and mortarboard (cap) with tassel. Caps and gowns are available from the Penn State New Kensington Bookstore. They currently have a bulk available for purchase in a variety of sizes. If you should need special sizing, please contact the bookstore in advance. You can contact the Bookstore at 724-334-6170. The Bookstore will hold your items for you, and you will be able to pay upon pick up.
Wear the tassel of the cap forward and to the right until you are signaled at the ceremony to shift it to the left when the degrees are conferred. Business or business casual attire is recommended.
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Graduating students may only wear one approved honor medal or pin to commencement. The following are pre-approved honor medals or pins:
- Kappa Delta Pi – Honor Society in Education
- Psi Chi – Honor Society in Psychology
- Sigma Xi – The Scientific Research Society
- Penn State Schreyer Honors College Medal
Graduates in their caps and gowns will assemble in advance. The procession will be led by the Faculty Marshal, the Chancellor, the Director of Academic Affairs, visiting dignitaries, faculty and staff, and then the graduates.
Graduates will have their diplomas mailed to their address listed on eLion. You should verify the name to be printed on the diploma via eLion, or you check your information with the Registrar’s Office on campus. If the alternate site form is filed correctly and timely, students from other campuses may participate in our commencement ceremony.
Note: Special inks are used in the printing of the diplomas. Do not store your diploma in a cedar chest.
Distinction at graduation is awarded to baccalaureate degree candidates with:
- at least 60 credits (30 credits for associate degree candidates) earned at Penn State
- minimum of a 3.5 cumulative grade-point average
- are in the top 12% of a college's graduating class
The distinction table is created in September for the coming fall, spring semesters and summer session, based on the grade-point average information of previous graduates.
Distinction levels for your degree can be found at: http://www.registrar.psu.edu/graduation/distinction.cfm
A transcript is the University’s official statement of your academic record. Please visit the Office of the Registrar for additional information and instructions on how to request an official transcript.
Your connection with Penn State does not end at graduation. Join over 150,000 Penn State supporters by becoming a member of the largest alumni association in the country, and keep that Blue and White spirit alive! The local alumni organization based on our campus is the Alle-Kiski Society. The society represents more than 7,000 Penn Staters living the Alle-Kiski valley. For more information on the Alle-Kiski Society, call 724-334-6049 or visit http://www.nk.psu.edu/Alumni/alumorg.htm.
For more information on the Penn State Alumni Association, visit: http://www.alumni.psu.edu/.