Amber Sessoms and Nittany Lion

Amber Sessoms, who received her doctor of education degree, with a major in adult education, poses with the Nittany Lion at Penn State Harrisburg's fall 2017 commencement ceremony. 

Image: Penn State Harrisburg

Penn State Harrisburg celebrates fall 2017 graduates

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. — Penn State Harrisburg held its fall 2017 commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 16 at the Giant Center in Hershey. More than 730 degrees were conferred with approximately 300 graduates in attendance.

See photos from the fall 2017 commencement ceremony.

Jeannine Peterson, CEO of Hamilton Health Center, a not-for-profit Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) located in Harrisburg, delivered the keynote address. She also is a 1978 graduate of the master’s of public administration program. Read more about Peterson here.

To the graduates, Peterson said, “Whatever the reason that got you here, one thing that you all have in common is that you had to work hard to be sitting here ... and for that we all salute you. … Penn State has given you the foundation to move forward to be and do anything in life, the decision of who you become and what your contributions to society will be is totally up to you. As you progress in your career, will you be willing to step out and go against the advice of others for something you believe in and are passionate about? It takes nothing to join the crowd, but everything to stand alone. … My advice to you all is to embrace each opportunity you have and learn everything you can from the environment you are in. … Today is the first day of the rest of your life ... yesterday is gone and your mistakes are behind you. ... I challenge you to find your passion, be true to who you are, and enjoy the journey.”

To watch the fall 2017 commencement ceremony, visit