by Joan Andrews
South Hills Public Relations Specialist
with Jodie LeMaster
South Hills Webmaster
STATE COLLEGE — South Hills School of Business & Technology held its commencement ceremony for the fall graduating class of 2017 at The Penn Stater Conference Center on Monday, September 25. The President’s Hall was filled to capacity with family and friends who came to congratulate the 105 graduates as they crossed the stage to receive their specialized associate degrees.
Graduations at South Hills are known for the personalized touches that abound throughout the ceremony as academic achievements and special acknowledgements are announced. One graduate speaker was chosen from each of the three South Hills campuses to deliver a speech to the audience. Their touching words and stories of success that inspired all those in attendance, including South Hills faculty and staff.
Recently employed graduates, Zachary Hughes, who studied Information Technology at the Lewistown campus, and Pyper Petersen, who studied Graphic Arts at the State College campus, spoke with gratitude about the transformation they experienced as they faced personal hardships while students at South Hills. Both speakers thanked the staff and classmates-turned-family for the support they received throughout their time of study, and they expressed appreciation for their instructors who taught them much more than academic lessons.
Maralyn Mazza, Co-founder of South Hills, was in attendance at the commencement ceremony of the school’s 47th year of operation. This was a night she wouldn’t miss because among the graduates was her grandson, Serafino Paul Mazza IV, the son of South Hills President, S. Paul Mazza III. The younger Mazza received his specialized associate degree in Business Administration—Management & Marketing.
Words of inspiration were also shared by keynote speaker, Rich Fornicola, Centre County Treasurer and long-time friend of South Hills. Fornicola encouraged the graduates to carefully navigate their careers and lives and wished them both success and significance; significance which comes by making someone else successful.