David Witmer selected as philosophy department student marshal

Michaela Harpster
April 17, 2020

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — As part of Penn State’s 2020 spring commencement activities, David Witmer will represent the Department of Philosophy in the College of the Liberal Arts as the department’s student marshal.

In response to the growing coronavirus pandemic, orders from the state government and recommendations from global public health organizations, Penn State will hold its spring 2020 commencement ceremony via livestream on May 9. The virtual ceremony will recognize all Penn State undergraduate students and all graduate students in the Penn State Graduate School.

Witmer will graduate with a bachelor of arts degree in philosophy, with minors in Jewish studies, English, and religious studies. His faculty marshal is John Christman, professor of philosophy, political science, and women’s studies.

Prior to becoming a student at Penn State, Witmer was an electronics maintenance technician for the U.S. Marine Corps for four years. In this role, he managed multiple Marines working as technicians, supervised satellite communications for Marines in remote desert operations, trained Junior Marines, and more. Witmer continued with his dedicated service to the military while attending Penn State. He worked for the Penn State Office of Veterans Programs, where he helped veterans gain access to resources and benefits. Witmer also volunteered with Out in the Cold Homeless Ministry and the Altoona VA Medical Center. In addition, he was a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters and participated in the Penn State Choir and Campus Choir. 

Throughout his Penn State career, Witmer won multiple awards, including the Dotteror Award for being an outstanding student, the Rauchfuss Scholarship for Veterans, and several others. 

“Being a liberal arts major greatly enriched my communication skills and ability to learn in any situation,” said Witmer. “It also allows you to have an exposure to a diversity of languages and cultures that make you a well-rounded candidate for any future position.”

After graduation, Witmer will work for Target as an executive team leader.

 To first-year liberal arts, Witmer offered the following advice for success. 

“Make the most of your opportunities to network on campus with recruiters, alumni, and other professionals,” he said. “Any time you take a class, go to the professor’s office hours at least once to establish a relationship with your professor and to learn whatever you can from them that might be useful in guiding you in your journey.”

This is the fifth in a series of stories on the 24 student marshals representing the College of the Liberal Arts during the spring 2020 commencement activities.

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated April 17, 2020