Penn State Brandywine graduates greet bright future

“You are our future. I am in your hands, we are in your hands, my children are in your hands. You will be our teachers and small business owners, our farmers and military leaders, our policy makers and accountants. You will be our corporate executives, our medical professionals and lawyers. You are our future!”

These words were bestowed by keynote speaker Julie Gallagher upon Penn State Brandywine’s Fall 2013 graduating class at the Dec. 20 Commencement Ceremony.  

Gallagher, associate professor of history, joined the faculty at Penn State Brandywine in 2007, teaching courses in U.S. history, concentrating on 20th century political history, women’s and gender history and African American history. She currently serves as the Rosenberg Career Development Professor, a three-year honor awarded to a faculty member at the campus. She has presented her research at conferences around the globe, including Brazil, Korea, Spain, Uganda and the United States.Julie Gallagher

As part of a long-standing Penn State Brandywine tradition, many of the more than 80 graduates had some words of their own to share with the audience when it was their time to walk across the stage and receive their diplomas.

“Thank you Penn State Brandywine for the memories, friendships and most importantly, the education,” said Garnet Valley resident Katie Kashner, who received a bachelor of arts degree in communications.

Quarryville native Nicole Simpson, who is the first from her family to graduate from college, earned a bachelor of science degree in human development and family studies. She thanked her family and fiancé before paying tribute to the faculty members who helped her achieve her goals. “I’d like to thank all of the faculty and give a special thanks to Dr. Harrell-Levy. You are such an inspiration to me,” she said.

Ross McNiel, a resident of Coatesville, accepted his diploma (a bachelor of arts degree in communications) and then gave the class of 2013 some advice of his own. "Words of wisdom for the class of ‘13: stay curious, stay hungry and never settle,” he said.

Broomall native Leah Gallagher, who earned a bachelor of science degree in human development and family studies, recalled advice her father shared with her many years ago. “Dad, I’ll never forget what you told me driving home from the sixth grade science fair,” she said. “You told me not to pick a career based on money, just do what makes you happy, and today I’m happy.”

Last Updated January 07, 2014