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Point Park graduating seniors listen to commencement speakers during 2013 graduation ceremonies at the Consol Energency Center May 4.

Point Park graduated 685 undergraduate students during its 53rd Annual Commencement ceremony held at CONSOL Energy Center in Downtown Pittsburgh on May 4.

Undergraduate Commencement Slideshow

"For our graduates, today is a great day - it is the reward and culmination of several years of disciplined learning," said Point Park President Paul Hennigan, wearing full academic regalia for the occasion. "It is also a great day for your families, a time of pride and celebration."

Speaking from the excitement of graduation, Hennigan added: "As a university community, we relish our success and discharge to the world our accomplished graduates, who will live and achieve and make great contributions."

Commencement speaker Robert A. Miller, an acclaimed producer, director and screenwriter, offered his personal reflections on the meaning of success to the crowd of 4,000 attendees, which included family and friends of the graduates.

"It's not the 'getting' that matters. It's the 'doing' that matters," he told the graduates. "It's the doing that is all mine ... The satisfaction comes from being willing to take the lumps along with the applause."

Miller recounted an experience being on a movie set with a trained dog who, when it was necessary, was unable to act like a typical family pet by knocking over props and causing a ruckus.

Miller realized at that point in his career that he was like the trained dog: he was able to perform the duties he was assigned, but his "inner dog" - the drive to try new things and to cause a ruckus - had been trained out of him.

Master's Degree Hooding Slideshow

"My wish for you is that you go on from here with the confidence you've learned how to learn," he told the graduates. "Follow the dog that's yours and only yours."

The crowd also heard from graduating senior Richelle Szypulski, mass communication and multimedia major from Lower Burrell, Pa., who was selected to speak on behalf of the Class of 2013. She encouraged her classmates to continue learning and exploring.

"Just because you're graduating doesn't mean you have to stop being a student," Szypulski said. "I'm not going to tell you to take risks or fail. You'll do that anyway. What I will tell you is to stop worrying about it."

Master's Degree Hooding and Degree Conferral

Point Park also held its master's degree Hooding and Degree Conferral for 251 graduates on Sunday, April 28 at the Wyndham Grand in Downtown Pittsburgh.

Maurita Bryant, assistant chief of police with the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, gave the keynote address for the evening. Bryant is a 2006 law enforcement graduate and a 2007 graduate of the criminal justice master's program.

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29 graduating seniors receive Honors Program certificates