MANSFIELD, Pa. (WETM) — Mansfield, part of Commonwealth University, kicked off its 2022-23 Academic Year on Friday with a Convocation Ceremony at Straughn Auditorium.

During the ceremony, a history of the institution was given by Grand Marshal Dr. Brand Lint from the Department of English. Lint spoke to both the students and faculty while highlighting the various name changes of the institution.

Lint was followed up by university President Bashar Hanna with the following.

“Together, we are creating an environment of stability and sustainable growth at Mansfield,” Hanna said, “ensuring that Mansfield, as part of Commonwealth University, will continue to be an affordable, destination campus serving the Northern Tier, the state of Pennsylvania, and beyond,” he said.

More speakers were presented throughout the ceremony and spoke on the ceremony’s theme of “Look to this Day”.

One speaker, in particular, Dr. Peggy Dettwiler, director of choral activities, spoke about her battle with a rare disease called French Polio in the 1980s, which caused them to be temporarily paralyzed and on a respirator.

Dettwiler spoke about that period in their lives and the life lessons she gained during her recovery.

“Laying in the hospital not being able to communicate left me time to think,” Dettweiler said, “I urge you as students to have hope, take risks, and find joy where you can,” she said.

The ceremony concluded with a class photo with the members of the Class of 2022, along with a campus picnic.