Waynesburg University’s commencement set for May 19

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WAYNESBURG – Waynesburg University’s annual baccalaureate and commencement exercises will be held May 19 on the university campus. The celebration will honor 650 undergraduate and graduate students.


The Rev. Dr. Andrew Purves will address students and their families at the baccalaureate service at 11 a.m. The Rev. Dr. R. Bruce Bickel will address the Class of 2013 as the commencement speaker at 2 p.m.


Baccalaureate services will be held in Roberts Chapel. Commencement will be held on the front lawn of Miller Hall. In case of inclement weather, commencement will be held in Rudy Marisa Fieldhouse.


Families are encouraged to arrive early as the commencement processional begins 20 minutes prior to the ceremony.


Robert Hackett, president of the Bonner Foundation, will be honored during commencement ceremony with a degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.


Prior to joining the Bonner Foundation as vice president in 1992, Hackett worked at the Telesis Corp., an affordable housing developer in Washington, D.C. For the past 20 years, Hackett has been associated in various capacities with the Youth Policy Institute, a Washington, D.C.-based non-partisan organization that researches and reports on policies and programs relating to young people.


Purves, a Christian theologian in the tradition of the Presbyterian Church, exemplifies a steadfast dedication to education, mentorship and faith that has set him apart as an inspirational leader and passionate role model.


Currently a professor of reformed theology at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, Purves’s theological insights engage and enlighten a new generation of leaders. With a deep concern for the renewal of the church and an unwavering commitment to his faith, Purves speaks regularly on matters of theological and spiritual renewal.


The Edinburgh, Scotland, native came to the United States in 1978. Soon after, he was ordained by the Presbytery of Philadelphia and served as the minister of the Hebron Presbyterian Church in Clinton for several years before joining the faculty at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.


He received degrees in philosophy and divinity from the University of Edinburgh, and a master of theology from Duke Divinity School. His Ph.D. is from the University of Edinburgh.


Bickel, the senior vice president and managing director of Private Foundation Management Services at PNC Bank, dedicates his life to improving the lives of others. The decorated naval aviator received his bachelor’s degree at the United States Naval Academy and his master’s degree from the United States Naval Flight School. Bickel completed his master of divinity and doctor of theology at Luther Rice Seminary. He also received an honorary doctor of divinity degree from Waynesburg College in 1991.


He joined the college’s board of trustees in 1991 and served as a member of the board executive committee, as board secretary, as chair of the Student Services Committee and as board chair. He continues to serve the university as an adviser, speaker and member of the Morris Scholar Advisory Board.


After joining PNC in 1988 as vice president, Bickel designed and implemented what is now PNC’s Private Foundation Management Services and offers counseling and administration to family foundations both regionally and nationwide.


In 2000, he was the recipient of the H. John Heinz Community Service Award for his work in the Pittsburgh area. Devoted to aiding his community, Bickel serves as a board member of the Grantmakers of Western Pennsylvania, the Pittsburgh Leadership Foundation, the National Endowment for Community Renewal and many more.


In 2003, Bickel founded the Transformational Leadership Group to train audiences in character-based leadership. As the group’s president, Bickel presents internationally to a variety of industries about ethical leadership, team-building and change management.


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