Penn State Harrisburg celebrates spring 2023 commencement

Three women students smiling in caps and gowns at commencement

More than 700 degrees were conferred during Penn State Harrisburg's spring 2023 commencement ceremony. 

Credit: Sharon Siegfried

MIDDLETOWN, Pa. – Penn State Harrisburg hosted its spring 2023 commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 6, marking the class of 2023’s completion of their academic experience and recognizing their many accomplishments. The ceremony was held at the Giant Center in Hershey. More than 700 degrees were conferred this semester.

Pennsylvania state Rep. Patty Kim served as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. She encouraged graduates to remember the sacrifices they made to get to commencement.

“You have already learned how to deal with the unexpected, to be patient while a pandemic raged on, and to be flexible even when the future was uncertain,” she said. “You are built for what is to come. Promise me this, when you leave here, and someone underestimates you, remember all of the sacrifices. You are more than enough.”

For the first time, the ceremony featured a student commencement speaker. April Demsko, of Palmyra, Pennsylvania, who received her bachelor of science degree in marketing, was chosen to serve as the student speaker for the ceremony. Demsko shared her hope for her fellow graduates that they are able to “defy other’s expectations of you, take care of yourselves and find community. I wish all of you the love, stability, support and resources you need to move forward in your life and all your endeavors, no matter how big or small.”

Read more about Kim and Demsko here.

In closing the ceremony, Penn State Harrisburg Chancellor John M. Mason Jr. congratulated the new graduates on their achievements.

“I commend all of your efforts in reaching this important milestone of graduation. We are pleased that you chose Penn State Harrisburg. We believe that your presence has made us a stronger institution,” he said. “You are the reason for our commitment to inspired teaching and learning, to the creation of new knowledge and innovation, and to the ideal of service to others.”

Student marshals for the ceremony included: Kylie Lesher, Elizabeth Henry, Myah Koepfer, Tram Anh Pham, Aaron Olsen and Grace Adams.

Penn State Harrisburg spring 2023 commencement highlights

Highlights of Penn State Harrisburg's spring 2023 commencement ceremony.

Credit: Dan Poeschl