Pulitzer Prize winner, Pittsburgh police chief to speak at Point Park graduation ceremonies

For Immediate Release
April 11, 2017

Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer, Pittsburgh police chief
to speak at Point Park graduation ceremonies

-- Honorable Tom and Susan Corbett will receive honorary doctorate degrees --

PITTSBURGH, PAMartha Rial, winner of a Pulitzer Prize for her photographs documenting the lives of Burundian and Rwandan survivors of genocide, will be Point Park University’s featured Commencement speaker. Rial also will receive an honorary degree.

Scott E. Schubert, a Point Park University graduate who is chief of the City of Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, will give the keynote address at the 2017 Hooding and Degree Conferral. The Honorable Tom Corbett and Susan Corbett, former first lady of the Commonwealth, will receive honorary doctorate degrees at the Hooding ceremony.

Hooding and Degree Conferral

The Hooding Ceremony will be at 9 a.m. Saturday, April 29 at PPG Paints Arena. Doors open at 7:30 a.m.

Keynote speaker Scott E. Schubert is a 24-year veteran of the Pittsburgh Police. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Law Enforcement and master’s degree in Criminal Justice at Point Park, where he serves as a part-time professor.

“We take great in pride in developing the Pittsburgh region’s future leaders,” said Paul Hennigan, president of Point Park. “There is no better example than Scott, who started as a patrolman and has spent more than two decades steadily rising to the top.”

Honorary doctorate degrees will be awarded to the Honorable Tom and Susan Corbett. Tom Corbett has spent much of his adult life serving the state of Pennsylvania, beginning with 13 years in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard. He served as U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Pennsylvania and as the state’s Attorney General before being elected governor in 2010. Susan Corbett has been a supporter of the arts and the nonprofit community for nearly three decades. She has served numerous organizations, including the Carnegie Museums in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Library and the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts. She is currently on the Board of Directors for the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia.

Darlene Marnich, Ph.D., professor and chair of the Department of Education, will serve as Grand Marshal. It is expected that 288 students will receive graduate degrees from across 14 master’s programs offered at the University. In addition, 17 students will receive Doctor of Education degrees in Leadership and Administration.

Commencement Ceremony

Commencement takes place at 12:30 p.m. Saturday, April 29, at PPG Paints Arena. Doors open at 11 a.m.

Featured speaker Martha Rial won the 1998 Pulitzer Prize for Spot News Photography while at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In 1996, the newspaper sent her to Burundi and Rwanda, where civil war left nearly one million people dead over three years.  Her work has earned the Scripps Howard Foundation Award for Photojournalism, a National Headliner Award and the Distinguished Visual Award from the Pennsylvania Associated Press Managing Editors. She also was named Pennsylvania News Photographer of the Year.

“Throughout her career, Martha has had the dedication and perseverance to go wherever the best stories took her, whether it was the mountains of Haiti or African villages devastated by genocide,” President Hennigan said. “Hearing from someone like Martha, who has been relentless in her pursuit of excellence, is the best way to send our graduates off into the real world.”

Rial’s recent endeavors include the Marcellus Shale Documentary Project, a traveling exhibition of photographs chronicling the impact of shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania, and “In Uganda, A School to Call Home,” a solo exhibit at Gallery 937 featuring the empowerment of children in Uganda.

Helen Fallon, professor of Journalism and director of the University Honors Program, will serve as the Grand Marshal for Commencement.

It is expected that 683 students will graduate, with degrees in:

Contact:   Lou Corsaro

                    Point Park University




Founded in 1960, Point Park University is a dynamic, urban university with a strong liberal arts tradition. Located in Downtown Pittsburgh, Point Park enrolls nearly 4,000 full- and part-time students in more than 100 undergraduate and graduate programs offered through the School of Arts and Sciences, School of Business, School of Communication and Conservatory of Performing Arts. Visit www.pointpark.edu to learn more.

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