Walking the Walk: Students Prepare for Fall Commencement

By Taylor Dressel

On Dec. 18, just over 900 Youngstown State University students will walk across the stage in Beeghly Center and receive their degrees.

Jackie LeViseur, director of university events, said Olivia Johnson and Sam Covelli will be speaking at commencement.

Johnson is an anthropology major. LeViseur said she has traveled to South Africa, the Bahamas, Guatemala and Belize during her four-and-a-half years at YSU. She plans on earning a Ph.D. in archaeology.

Covelli is the owner and CEO of Covelli Enterprises. The Warren company has been around for more than 50 years and employs about 26,000 people. They are the largest single franchisee of Panera Bread and O’Charley’s restaurants.

Brittany Landsberger, a professional and technical writing major, is among the students graduating on the 18th. She said she’s excited to hear Covelli speak.

“I think it’s great that Sam Covelli is speaking,” Landsberger said. “[He’s] a big name in our community, and he’s had a big impact.”

Tessa Ault, a social work major, is also graduating this semester. She echoed Landsberger’s comments about Covelli.

Because the university no longer holds commencement in the summer, 175 students who completed their degrees during summer semester will be joining the 730 fall graduates during the ceremony.

Both Landsberger and Ault expressed excitement about the prospect of graduating.

“I am excited to [get] my diploma, to shake the hand of President Tressel and cry tears of joy,” Ault said.

Landsberger agreed.

“I’m really excited for the ceremony and walking across the stage and having my family see me accomplish finishing college,” she said. “I know they are really proud of me, and I’m thrilled that I can share this with them.”