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CONGRATULATIONS TO THE CLASS OF '07

Commencement Spring 2007
6/11/2007 —

Information on the DVD and Photos
Graduating seniors will receive a DVD containing a recording of the program as well as photos. 
To view the photo gallery or to order professional prints from the photographer, click here.


Penn State Brandywine held Spring Commencement for approximately 100 students on Saturday, May 19,  in the Commons/Athletic Center. Elizabeth "Jo" Buckmaster, the lone original faculty member from the opening of Penn State Brandywine in 1967 still teaching on campus, delivered the commencement address.

Elizabeth "Jo" Buckmaster has taught at Penn State Brandywine since it opened in a converted fish market in Chester way back in 1967. From her job interview, to which the Kansas native brought her four young children, to the time a student took the no- homework excuse a step too far by declaring her grandmother had died twice in the span of a couple of weeks, Buckmaster has had a slew of interesting experiences during her time on campus.

Four decades ago, she never would have guessed she'd still be here in 2007, the only original faculty member still teaching at Penn State Brandywine. The building long ago moved from Chester to a newly built facility in Media.

"When I started at Penn State Brandywine (Campus Executive Officer) John Vairo encouraged his faculty to think about the vision of the campus in the year 2000 and I, like a typical cynical 25-year-old, thought 'yeah, right pal. I'll be lucky to live that long,'" said Buckmaster, who will retire at the end of June. "Forty years is a long time in any job, but my time at Penn State Brandywine has certainly been a fun journey. For me, my fondest memories are of the students. They are a treat to be around."

Since she has seen and done just about everything since the campus' inception, it's only fitting that Buckmaster deliver the commencement address at Penn State Brandywine's Spring Commencement.

Buckmaster talked about the campus at its inception and through the years, and read a poem titled "Happiness" by Jane Kenyon.

Buckmaster, assistant professor of English, is one of four Penn State Brandywine professors to have earned the Milton S. Eisenhower Award for Distinguished Teaching, an honor she earned in 1996. Chancellor Sophia Wisniewska said 40 years teaching and observing at the campus make Buckmaster a fine choice to speak at commencement.

"Elizabeth has devoted her time and energies to the campus community for four decades, and she has seen the campus grow from a modest, one-building campus of 260 students, to a bustling campus with four buildings and 1,700 students," said Wisniewska. "I can't think of anyone who could do a better job speaking on behalf of the campus and wishing our students well as they head off into the next phase of their lives than Elizabeth Buckmaster. It also gives us one last opportunity to appreciate what she means to the campus community."

The event was broadcast live over the Internet. A recording of the event and a photo gallery will become available soon.

View the program

To watch the recorded event, click here.

QuickTime is required to view the event. Click here to download this free program.

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