Wilkes University


Wilkes University Holds 69th Annual Spring Commencement

Wilkes University awarded 715 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees at its spring commencement ceremonies held on May 21. The ceremony for graduate students receiving doctoral and master’s degrees was held at 10 a.m., while the ceremony for undergraduates receiving bachelor’s degrees was held at 3 p.m. Both ceremonies were in the Arnaud C. Marts Sports and Conference Center, 274 S. Franklin St., Wilkes-Barre. Graduates at both ceremonies, led by bagpipers, processed on the new campus Gateway to the Marts Center from the University Center on Main, beginning a new tradition.

Wil Del Pilar, acting deputy secretary of postsecondary and higher education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education delivered the address at the morning ceremony for graduate students, while Wilkes University President Patrick F. Leahy spoke at the afternoon ceremony for undergraduates.

Speaking on behalf of students receiving graduate degrees at the morning ceremony was Ty Frederickson, who received his doctor of education degree on Saturday. Frederickson is among the first doctoral graduates from ABA, an international school in Muscat, Oman. Wilkes offers its doctor of education program online to a cohort of teachers at the school. Remarks on behalf of the undergraduate senior class were delivered by Anthony Fanucci of Madison Township, Pa., who also was presented with the Alumni Award for Leadership. Fanucci received his bachelor of science degree at the commencement on his way to receiving his doctor of pharmacy degree at Wilkes.  

Wilkes also recognized the oldest graduate in its history, Anna Arnett of Chandler, Ariz. Arnett, who is 92 years old, will receive her master’s degree in creative writing at a special ceremony at Wilkes’ Arizona center on June 4. 

The following awards were presented to undergraduates at the afternoon ceremony:

Alumni Leadership Award –   Anthony Fanucci, Madison Township, Pa.

 The Alumni Leadership Award is given by the Wilkes University Alumni Association to the member of the graduating class considered to have made the strongest contribution to student life and the student activities program of the University. This year’s recipient is AnthonyFanucci, who is graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor of science degree on his way to earning the doctor of pharmacy degree at Wilkes in 2018. Fanucci, a graduate of North Pocono High School, is the son of Susan and Gary Fanucci. For the past academic year, Fanucci served as president of Student Government. He also served as treasurer of Student Government and was an e-mentor as well as the student coordinator for Wilkes Adventure Education.

Teresa Jordan and Frank Mehm Prize – Troy Carey, New Milford, Pa.

The Mehm Prize is awarded annually to the undergraduate who most nearly represents the ideal respecting moral courage, unselfishness, and noteworthy extracurricular participation significantly advancing the University on and off campus. This year’s recipient is Troy Carey, who is graduating magna cum laude with a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and criminology. Carey was president of Bacchus, a university and community-based peer network focused on addressing high-risk behaviors that compromise health and safety, and a;sp was president of the Sociology/Criminology Club. Carey was a member of the Substance Abuse Task Force and the Homecoming Student Team. He also is a member of Alpha Kappa Delta, the international sociology honor society. In fall 2015, Carey presented research conducted collaboratively with Andrew Wilczak, assistant professor of criminology,  at the American Society of Criminology Conference in Washington, D.C. The research presentation was “Alcohol Abuse and Victimization Among College Students: A Social Control Perspective. Following graduation Carey will be working for NBT Bank as a Management Development Associate. 

Mabel Scott Wandell Award and Sterling Leroy Wandell Award

The Mabel Scott Wandell and the Sterling Leroy Wandell awards are presented to the man and woman in Wilkes University’s graduating class with the highest grade-point average. This year, one woman graduated with a perfect 4.0 average and two men tied with a 3.98. The winners are:

Sydney Schafer of Lehighton, Pa. is earning the bachelor of science degree summa cum laude in early childhood and elementary education. A graduate of Lehighton Area High School, she is the daughter of Lori and Harold Schafer. She received the award for being the outstanding graduate in the School of Education and has been inducted into the Alpha Chi and Kappa Delta Pi honor societies. Schafer recently returned from her student teaching experience in the Kyrene School District in Chandler, Ariz. Schafer was only the 56th student in the history of Wilkes to earn a perfect 4.0 cumulative grade-point average.

Donachatch Kiangsiri of Bangkok, Thailand, is earning his bachelor of science degree summa cum laude with a major in accounting with a 3.98 grade point average. He received the academic achievement award for accounting and the PICPA Award for excellence in accounting. Kiangsiri was also awarded the Nada Vujica Memorial Award recognizing his contributions to the campus as an international student. He is a member of the Phi Beta Lambda Honor Society and created the Asian Cultural Society on campus. After graduation, Kiangsiri will return to Thailand to pursue his career in accounting.

Zachary Sullivan of Pottsville, Pa., received his bachelor of science degree summa cum laude with a major in environmental engineering. Sullivan, a graduate of Pottsville Area High School, participated in MATHCOUNTS, the lacrosse club and the Wilkes Climbing Association. Sullivan has accepted a position as a civil engineer with Systems Design Engineering in Leesport, Pa.

Two Wilkes pharmacy students – Kelly Kempa and James Steigerwalt  -- also were recognized for their perfect 4.0 grade-point averages during their first four years at the University. They will be presented with their Wandell Awards when they receive their pharmacy degrees in 2018. They represent the 58th and 59th students in the history of the University to achieve perfect 4.0 grade averages.