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Two California University of Pennsylvania presidents, both Cal U alumni, will share the stage Dec. 12 and 13 at the University’s 179th Commencement.

Interim University President Geraldine M. Jones ’72, ’80 will confer degrees at Winter Commencement ceremonies for graduate and undergraduate students.

Emeritus President Dr. John Pierce Watkins ’53, California’s top administrator from 1977-1992, will address the graduates at both ceremonies.

Winter Commencement recognizes students who completed their studies in August and December. Graduates’ families and friends are welcome to attend.

The schedule

7 p.m. Dec. 12 — The School of Graduate Studies and Research awards master’s degrees, and candidates are vested in their academic hoods. Doors open at 5 p.m.

10 a.m. Dec. 13 — Undergraduates in the College of Education and Human Services, the College of Liberal Arts and the Eberly College of Science and Technology receive their diplomas. Door open at 8 a.m.

Both ceremonies are held in the Cal U Convocation Center.

The speaker

Emeritus President Watkins joined the English Department at his alma mater, then known as California State College, in 1957. He served as chair of the department from 1966-1973, when he was appointed vice president for Academic Affairs,. 

In 1976 he was named acting president, and on Aug. 24, 1977, he officially became California’s fifth president. After he retired from that post in 1992, the University’s Council of Trustees bestowed the title of emeritus president and named a classroom building, the Watkins Center, in his honor. 

Read the speaker’s complete bio

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Students lining up during Commencement at Cal U.

Read more about Commencement activities

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Download a PDF of the Commencement program


Cal U is easy to reach via major highways and Toll Route 43.

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Undergraduate Commencement parking map.

Graduate Commencement parking map.

Commencement parking is free.


4 p.m.
Dec. 13, 2014
Cal U Convocation Center

Col. James F. Chisholm will transfer command to Lt. Col. Ros L. Gammon IV at a traditional military change-of-command ceremony 4 p.m. Dec. 13 at the Cal U Convocation Center.

Both servicemen are Cal U alumni.