About 1,000 undergraduate and 200 graduate students will walk across the Beeghly Center stage Saturday to receive their Youngstown State University diplomas.
The undergraduate commencement begins at 10 a.m. with actor Ed O’Neill, a city native, as the featured speaker. O’Neill will be presented with an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the university. Tickets are required to attend.
At 2:30 p.m., Cynthia E. Anderson, who retires from the YSU presidency June 30, will be the speaker for the ceremony honoring graduate students. No tickets will be required for the afternoon commencement.
O’Neill, who portrays the patriarch on the ABC comedy “Modern Family,” attended YSU in the 1960s but didn’t receive a degree. He was a defensive lineman for the Penguins football team and also acted in university theater productions. O’Neill, a native of the city’s North Side, is an Ursuline High School graduate and attended Ohio University before coming to YSU.
Anderson, YSU president since 2010, is retiring after about 34 years at the unversity. She was the first woman, Mahoning Valley native and YSU graduate to serve as president.
She worked her way up through the university, joining the YSU faculty as an instructor in 1979.
She served as an assistant professor, associate professor, professor and assistant provost before being named vice president for student affairs in 1995. She remained in that post until being appointed president.