Alex Kluger, who earned a bachelor's degree at the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, shows off her mortar design on commencement weekend. "I chose that design because after my time here in the Nutrition and Dietetics program at Pitt, I've realized how many opportunities there are to change and improve people's lives through nutrition. I've seen so many quotes about 'being the change,' but I wanted to make it clear that I AM that change. And I'm ready to take on the world."
Daniel Randolph's aunt, Donna, flew 16 hours from Honolulu to Pittsburgh with a suitcase full of fresh flowers from his grandmother's garden. He wears them around his neck today as he graduates with a Bachelor of Science in psychology. He also wears a lei of candy as "a more modern twist. It'll be a lifeline to get through the ceremony — I think the Smarties might get passed around," he joked.
Chukwuemeka K. Ukaga
Swanson School graduate Chukwuemeka K. Ukaga displays his two medals — one for his participation in the Hesselbein Global Academy of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement and another for his membership in Brotherhood, an organization for black and minority male engineering students. Ukaga, who studied civil engineering and architecture, will move to Arizona to work with his friends on their startup GLIMPSE, A New Perspective, a software company aiming to aid charities in their fundraising efforts.
Lindsay Gratton, who is graduating with a degree in accounting, poses with family pet, Riley. The 8-year-old golden retriever made the trip from Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, with Gratton's parents for a graduation photo in the Cathedral of Learning.
Kyle Houck poses with his parents, Jackie and Tom Houck. A December 2017 graduate of the Swanson School of Engineering, Kyle is using his degree in mechanical engineering as a roller coaster designer at Sunbury, Pennsylvania-based Great Coasters International.
Vice Provost and Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner
Before the processional, Vice Provost and Dean of Students Kenyon Bonner speaks to attendees of the undergraduate commencement ceremony. Bonner is a recent graduate as well, having earned his EdD.
Elif Nur Kizilkaya
Elif Nur Kizilkaya walks with other Dietrich School graduates into the undergraduate commencement ceremony. Kizilkaya, who majored in biological sciences, plans to continue her studies in physical therapy.
Chancellor Patrick Gallagher
Chancellor Gallagher shares a laugh while delivering his remarks. "During your time at Pitt, you have shown ambition, compassion and perseverance. And, you have reaffirmed my sincere belief that your opportunities are endless," he said of the 2018 class.
William Peduto, Patricia E. Beeson, Kathy W. Humphrey, Arthur S. Levine and Eva Tansky Blum
Undergraduate ceremony speaker and Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto (GSPIA '11) laughs during commencement, along with (from left) Patricia E. Beeson, provost and senior vice chancellor; Kathy W. Humphrey, senior vice chancellor for engagement and secretary of the Board of Trustees; Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine; and Eva Tansky Blum, chairperson of the Board of Trustees.
Derek L. Arnold
"Today is the day that we go out into the world and show them what Pitt is made of," said student speaker Derek L. Arnold, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in business administration.
Dietrich School graduate Domonik Daniels dances in celebration as he walks down the steps from the commencement stage to shake Chancellor Patrick Gallagher’s hand. The sociology major said he plans on eventually pursuing a master’s degree after working.
Nicholas Patrick Bersin
Nicholas Patrick Bersin embraces Chancellor Patrick Gallagher after leaving the commencement stage with his graduation scroll. The Dietrich School graduate majored in German and French and minored in Polish. He also received certificates in Russian and East European studies and West European studies. After graduation, Fulbright Austria will administer Bersin’s role as a U.S. teaching assistant for the Austrian Ministry of Education. He later plans on pursuing a master’s degree in divinity at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
George Tawfik wears a hamburger hat to commemorate his favorite Pitt experience, Market Central’s take-out restaurant Market-to-Go. Tawfik studied ecology and evolution in the Dietrich School and plans to pursue a career in medicine.
Anthony Farnham earned a Bachelor of Science in neuroscience today. His lavender and white honors cord represents his connection to Pittsburgh Attacks Cancer Together (PACT), a Pitt club formed in 2015, dedicated to strengthening grassroots fundraising for cancer research.
Todd and Donna Henry, Parents of Andrew Henry
Todd and Donna Henry of York, Pennsylvania, spot their son, Andrew — their first child to graduate from college — in a sea of soon-to-be grads at the Petersen Events Center. "It makes us feel old," but proud, said Todd. Andrew earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences today.
In an unprecedented feat, Matthew Gregoire, Bachelor of Science in civil engineering, reveals himself as Roc, Pitt's Panther mascot, to Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. Gregoire is thought to be the first Roc to identify his alter ego at a commencement ceremony.
Confetti falls marking the end of the ceremony for the 2,100+ new graduates.
Xiaoxiao Wang, Linxuan Yan and Sujuan Zhang
Xiaoxiao Wang, Linxuan Yan and Sujuan Zhang pose for a selfie after graduating from the College of Business Administration. The three agreed that the ability to combine their business classes with other electives and study abroad programs made their college experience unique.
Erisson Contreras (right) hugs his brother, Donal, after graduating with a degree in biochemistry. Contreras came to the United States from the Dominican Republic in 2008 and will now begin a career in medical technology. His favorite part of Pitt was seeing the Cathedral of Learning every day: "It's just mesmerizing."
Olutomiwa Aiyegbusi (middle-left, holding flowers) is surrounded by 17 family members, some of whom came from Nigeria to celebrate. Aiyegbusi earned her degree in electrical engineering and will start her career working at Lockheed Martin. Her favorite Pitt memory is the Pitt v. PSU football game in 2016.
Naomi Kasturiarachi stands between her sisters Brittany and Courtney after graduating with degrees in biology and history and philosophy of science. During her time at Pitt, Naomi was heavily involved in Gamma Sigma Sigma, a service organization. She said her favorite part of her Pitt experience was having "the ability to impact people in the Pittsburgh community." In August, she will begin medical school at Ohio University.
Students lock arms while singing Pitt's alma mater before the end of the festivities.
Vianney Mixtur couldn't head into the Petersen Events Center without a send-off from his mother Roseline (right) and aunt Kathleen (left). Mixtur is graduating from the Swanson School with a Master of Science in electrical engineering.
Aishwarya Kumar, graduating with a Master of Public Administration from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, who also was a 2017 fellow at the prestigious Hesselbein Leadership Summit, celebrates her graduation with her parents S.K. Menon and P.S. Kumar outside the Cathedral of Learning.
Jasmine Rouse, Carrece Faulknor and Doreen Foy
Jasmin Rouse (left), a 2011 alumna of Pitt's College of General Studies, puts the finishing touches on School of Pharmacy graduates Carrece Faulknor (center) and Doreen Foy (right).
Swanson School graduates, from left, Satia Soltanattar, Arash Nouri Gheimassi, Seyed Reza Mirhassani Moghaddam and Pavlo Kostetskyy capture a moment for posterity.
Saman Amirpour Amraii
Saman Amirpour Amraii (right) of Iran earned a PhD in intelligent systems at the new School of Computing and Information today, studying big data analytics and visualization. He and his adviser, Professor Michael Lewis, joke before the ceremony. "I come from what used to be a library school, so I'm always interested in the schemes people use to order things. … Here, it appears to be alphabetical," said Lewis.
Featured Speaker David Frederick
Featured speaker, Pitt alumnus and Washington, D.C., attorney David Frederick advises Pitt graduates that they need to be "skeptical not just of others opinions, but of our own. ...Accepting the possibility that you might be wrong yourself allows you to not just seek the right answers, but a deeper truth."
Kathryn Ching is all smiles as she graduates with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree, and now plans to do clinical work. During her time at Pitt, she was a member of the College of Psychiatric and Neurologic Pharmacists’ Pitt student chapter. “It’s been fantastic,” said Ching, who also graduated with her master's in pharmaceutical sciences at Pitt. “I’ve made great friends and mentors here at Pitt. It’s a big day and I’m excited to be here.”
Michael J. L. Wilkinson
Master's degree speaker Michael J. L. Wilkinson told graduates that "our education was not meant to hang on a wall or sit on a shelf — it was meant to be shared. ... My advice is let your education breathe. Put it to work."
Teisha Duncan receives her diploma from Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. Duncan graduates with a Master of Fine Arts in performance pedagogy. She hopes to continue acting and teaching. Her dream role is to be Medea, the titular character of the ancient Greek tragedy of the same name. “I’m elated,” she said after walking off the main stage at the Petersen Events Center. “It’s an amazing feeling to be both an artist and a scholar. This is a wonderful program in one of the best fields.”
Lara Siminerio Lemon
In the student address, Lara Siminerio Lemon, who received a PhD from the Graduate School of of Public Health, told the audience: "You only have one life. So do what you choose with it but remember: It's the only chance you'll get. ... Please do not lose the momentum that Pitt has provided to each one of us. ... Get out there and do what you're trained to do." Lemon is a candidate for Doctor of Philosophy, Graduate School of Public Health.
Jorge Candiotti, who earned a Doctor of Philosophy in rehabilitation science, is hooded by Rory Cooper, associate dean for inclusion in the School of Rehabilitation Sciences, FISA/Paralyzed Veterans of America Chair and Distinguished Professor, Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology.
Chancellor Patrick Gallagher
During his remarks, Chancellor Patrick Gallagher said: "You will leave here tonight with a deep capacity for inventiveness, imagination and curiosity. And, I hope you will continue to use your talents to further Pitt’s mission: to leverage knowledge for society’s gain."
Feng Zhao, Tian Zhang and Manwen Zhu
Feng Zhao, who received a Master of Science in information science and technology from the School of Computing and Information, raises his arms in triumph during opening ceremonies. He sat with cohorts Tian Zhang, left, and Manwen Zhu, right.