collage of 4 photos from commencement



Commencement ceremonies, which are held every fall and spring, are public recognition of our students' accomplishments.  Since the inaugural class of 1960, more than 5,200 alumni have attended Penn State New Kensington and earned a Penn State degree.

Important dates and deadlines:

Please apply to graduate on LionPath.  For information and directions, please go to Lionpath Help page.  Applying to graduate activation period for Spring 2017, expires on January 23, 2017.  If you do not set your intent to graduate by this date, please contact the Registrar's Office.

Commencement rehearsal will be held on Wednesday, April 19, 2017, from 12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. in the Athletics Center.

The Spring, 2017 commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 6, 2017, at 10:00 a.m. in the Athletics Center.

Important information for graduates:

This page provides important information for graduates and their families.


In observance of tradition, all participants in the Commencement Ceremony will wear full academic regalia, consisting of a traditional gown and mortarboard (cap) with tassel.  Caps and gowns must be ordered from the Penn State New Kensington Bookstore.  You can contact the Bookstore at 724-334-6170. 

Wear the tassel of the cap forward and to the right until you are signaled at the ceremony to shift it to the left when the degrees are conferred.  Business or business casual attire is recommended.


Academic regalia (Cap and Gown) is available through our Bookstore. It is now made of "green" biodegradable material.  Please order your regalia early. For more details, view the Academic Attire section above.

Print ready Penn State graduation announcements, invitations and thank-you cards are available online at:  Class rings and jewelry can be ordered through the bookstore and are also available for purchase on the Jostens website at:

The bookstore will be open special hours for your graduation needs, gifts, or just to browse. For additional information, you may contact the bookstore at: 724-334-6170.


Each semester, before students can schedule, they are asked to verify their contact information as a part of their To Do list in the student center portion of LionPath.  It is very important to verify that all information is correct since all official University correspondence, including their diploma, will go to the address we have on file.  Diplomas are mailed to the student's address after the ceremony. 

If the alternate site form is filed correctly and timely, students from other campuses may participate in our commencement ceremony. 

Note: Special inks are used in the printing of the diplomas.  Do not store your diploma in a cedar chest.


Distinction at graduation is awarded to baccalaureate degree candidates with:

  • at least 60 credits (30 credits for associate degree candidates) earned at Penn State
  • minimum of a 3.5 cumulative grade-point average
  • are in the top 12% of a college's graduating class

The distinction table is created in September for the coming fall, spring semesters and summer session, based on the grade-point average information of previous graduates.

Distinction levels for your degree can be found at:


Kevin Bode, financial adviser and founder of Knead Community Café in downtown New Kensington, will be the principle speaker at Penn State New Kensington’s commencement ceremony. 

A successful financial manager, Bode served as president of Strategic Employee Benefit Services, a division of Northwest Mutual. He stepped down three years ago to spend more time with his clients and do ministry work. Bode also handles 401Ks and personal financial planning. He is an Accredited Investment Fiduciary and a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.

In addition his vocation of 30 years, Bode embarked on an avocation in February when he and his wife, Mary, opened the innovative Knead Café, the first “pay-what-you-can” restaurant in western Pennsylvania. Based on a model created by OWEE (One World Everybody Eats), the concept allows patrons of the café to pay what they can afford for a meal or volunteer in the cafe. 

An advocate for his community, Bode served on the board of directors for Family Resources of Western Pennsylvania and the Valley Points Family YMCA. He is president of the board of Del Rey Ministries and a member of the board of the Community Foundation of Westmoreland County. In addition, Bode is active in his church, Mt. St. Peter, and performs missionary work in the Dominican Republic. 

A graduate of Towson University in Baltimore, Bode resides in New Kensington with his wife and their two children, Chelsea and Lucas.


Friends and family of the graduates are very welcome at the Commencement Ceremony.  Each graduate is encouraged to invite their family and friends to participate in their special day.  Floor seating will be available for our guests with special needs. Handicapped parking spaces are designated in the front row of our Athletics Center parking lot for Spring graduations, and in the front near the main entrance for Fall ceremonies. 

Free parking is available at Penn State New Kensington.

For directions to the campus, just input your starting location on this driving directions map.  Or, enter the following address into the GPS of your choice:
Penn State New Kensington
3550 Seventh Street Road
Route 780
New Kensington, PA 15068


Graduating students may wear only provided ornamentation to commencement. Ornamentation representing honorary societies or nationalities is not approved attire for Penn State academic ceremonies.  Students graduating with distinction, high distinction, highest distinction and approved veterans will be provided University approved cords. 

Penn State New Kensington ALUMNI Society

A student's connection with Penn State does not end at graduation.  Join over 150,000 Penn State supporters by becoming a member of the largest alumni association in the country, and keep that Blue and White spirit alive! 

The local alumni organization based on our campus is the Penn State New Kensington Alumni Society. The society represents more than 7,000 Penn Staters living the Alle-Kiski valley.

For more information on the Penn State Alumni Association, visit:


Graduates in their caps and gowns will assemble in advance.  The procession will be led by the Faculty Marshal, the Chancellor, the Director of Academic Affairs, visiting dignitaries, faculty and staff, and then the graduates.


A transcript is the University’s official statement of your academic record.  Please visit the Penn State Office of the Registrar for additional information and instructions on how to request an official transcript.