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Point Park University will celebrate the annual Hooding and Degree Conferral and Commencement ceremonies Saturday, April 27 at PPG Paints Arena.

Graduate Hooding and Degree Conferral

9 a.m. (doors open at 7:30 a.m)
PPG Paints Arena

MBA alumna Aster Teclay, senior project manager at the Housing Authority of the City of Pittsburgh, is the keynote speaker. 

Teclay is co-founder of Invest in Her, an organization with the goal to enhance the volume and sustainability of female entrepreneurs in the Greater Pittsburgh region. She also serves on the Urban Redevelopment Authority’s micro-enterprise loan committee, which provides loans to small businesses.

“Aster is precisely the kind of student Point Park prides itself on developing and supporting,” said Paul Hennigan, Ed.D., president of Point Park. “She has chosen to build a successful career that involves lifting others along the way. We couldn’t be more proud of what she’s accomplished and can’t wait to see what she does next.”

Kaisha Jantsch, M.A. in media communication candidate, is the outstanding graduate student speaker.

Jamesena Talbott, Ph.D., NCC, professor of leadership and community engagement, is the grand marshal. It is expected that 234 students will receive graduate degrees across 18 master’s programs offered at the University. In addition, eight students will receive Doctor of Education degrees in leadership and administration, and one student will receive a Ph.D. in community engagement.

Undergraduate Commencement

12:30 p.m. (doors open at 11 a.m)
PPG Paints Arena

Dr. Jim Withers, named a Top 10 CNN Hero in 2016 for his street medicine program that developed into Operation Safety Net, is the featured Commencement speaker.

Withers is a physician within the Pittsburgh Mercy health system and an assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of Pittsburgh

“Point Park is proud of the work that’s been done on campus over the years to support Operation Safety Net. Jim’s incredible public service is reflective of the community engagement work our students, faculty and staff perform all the time,” said Hennigan. “I can’t think of anyone better to inspire our graduates as they head out into the real world.” 

Katherine Henderson, Ph.D., who served as president of Point Park from 1997 to 2006, will receive an honorary degree. Under her leadership, Point Park experienced significant enrollment growth and she successfully led the capital campaign to build the George Rowland White Performance Center.

“Dr. Henderson is a critically important figure in the history of Point Park University as it exists today,” Hennigan said. “I am excited to welcome her back to receive this well-deserved honor and shine a spotlight on her accomplishments as president.”

Ashley Williams, B.A. in theatre arts candidate, is the outstanding graduating senior speaker. Bob O’Gara, M.A., retiring professor of public relations and advertising, will serve as grand marshal. It is expected that 713 students will graduate with degrees in 65 different majors.

More About: graduate hooding, M.B.A., alumni, community engagement, Ed.D. in leadership and administration, PPG Paints Arena, theatre, M.A. in media communication, commencement, doctoral student, graduate programs, public relations and advertising, faculty, George Rowland White Performance Center