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Spring commencement held

5/15/2004 —

On Saturday, May 15, 2004, approximately 70 students received their associate or baccalaureate degrees at Penn State Wilkes-Barre. The ceremonies began at 10 a.m. in the Athletic & Recreation Building with musical selections by the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Choir. Mark Sobeck, chair of the campus advisory board delivered the welcoming address, followed by class speaker, Michelle Buck, and class valedictorian, Preston Hartzell.

John T. Yudichak, state representative in the 119th district, delivered the commencement address. In Harrisburg, Rep. Yudichak serves on the Education Committee, the Environmental Resources & Energy Committee, and the Finance Committee. He serves as the co-chair of the bicameral Penn State Forum on Higher Education. He is a leading advocate for regional municipal cooperation and is noted for his leadership on major issues such as tax reform, health care, education, and the environment.

Rep. Yudichak is active in numerous civic organizations including The Luzerne Foundation, the Penn State Wilkes-Barre Advisory Board, Newport Township Lions Club, Plymouth Township Recreation Association, and Sons of the American Legion - Larksville Post. He founded the Yudichak Family Lighthouse Fund, a local charity benefiting local libraries and youth programs, to honor his parents and six siblings.

The Penn State Wilkes-Barre Outstanding Community Service Award was presented to local restaurateur, Eric Lee. This award is given to a member of the community whose volunteer services have positively affected the quality of life in the greater Wyoming Valley. Mr. Lee, Shavertown, has been involved with numerous community service projects including a pro-active drunk driving awareness program, the Friends of Sharon, with the Wyoming Valley Alcohol and Drug Services. He organized a fund raising event that benefited abused women and children and he cooperated with WVIA to bring internationally known Chinese master chef, Martin Yan of "Yan Can Cook," to conduct a fundraiser. A one-time advisory board scholarship in Mr. Lee’s name will be given to a student enrolled at the campus for the 2004-2005 academic year who has demonstrated academic excellence and community service.

A reception for graduates and their families immediately followed the ceremony.

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