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Posted on April 19, 2016

Portrait of Vanessa DeSalvo Getz

Political professional Vanessa DeSalvo Getz, Class of 1993, will address graduates when Cal U marks its 182nd Commencement. Two ceremonies are planned:

  • Graduate ceremonies: 7 p.m. May 6 in the Convocation Center. Master’s degree candidates will be vested in their academic hoods during the ceremony.
  • Undergraduate ceremonies: 10 a.m. May 7 in the Convocation Center.

More than 900 undergraduates and 320 graduate students will receive their degrees, although not all will attend the ceremonies.

University President Geraldine M. Jones will confer the degrees and personally greet each graduate who walks across the stage.

Graduates’ families and friends are welcome to attend. No tickets are required; seating is first come, first served.

About the Commencement speaker

Getz is the founder and president of Salvo Strategies, a public and government affairs firm based in Pittsburgh. In keeping with Cal U’s tradition of inviting distinguished alumni to address its graduating students, she will speak at both ceremonies.

Getz’s career began in 1992 in the office of Pennsylvania’s Speaker of the House. In 1993 — the year she graduated from Cal U with a bachelor’s degree in business and marketing — she joined the Pennsylvania government relations firm Greenlee Partners as director of special projects, and she rejoined as managing director in 2007.

Between 2000 and 2003 she served in top positions on the staffs that managed Bob Casey Jr.’s campaigns for state and federal offices, including his successful run for a seat in the U.S. Senate.

Over the past 23 years Getz has been a strategist, information analyst and event planner for campaigns from school boards to the Supreme Court, and she has successfully raised funds for political candidates and charitable organizations throughout the nation. She also has helped to advance the interests of nonprofit organizations and major corporations.

Getz has been named one of Pennsylvania's 24 “Most Politically Powerful Women.” In 2006 she received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the Brownsville Area Schools Alumni Association, and in 2014 she received Cal U’s W.S. Jackman Alumni Award of Distinction.

A Fayette County native, Getz now resides in Rosslyn Farms, Pa., with her husband, Blake, and their sons, Chase and Max.

Learn more

Both graduation ceremonies can be viewed live online at www.calu.edu. For more information, including important dates and instructions for graduates, visit www.calu.edu/events/commencement.