Penn State York to celebrate spring commencement May 5

State Sen. Kristen Phillips-Hill to speak at Penn State York commencement
Theatre filled with people watch a commencement ceremony on stage

Commencement is set for 6 p.m. Friday, May 5, at Penn State York. State Sen. Kristen Phillips-Hill will serve as the commencement speaker. The ceremony is free and open to the public.

Credit: Barbara Dennis

YORK, Pa. — Penn State York will celebrate its annual spring commencement at 6 p.m. Friday, May 5, in the Pullo Family Performing Arts Center. As part of the ceremony, the campus will award its first bachelor of science degree in cybersecurity analytics and operations. State Sen. Kristen Phillips-Hill, Senate District 28, will serve as the commencement speaker.

A campus first

John “JP” Dyson, of Glenville, Pennsylvania, is set to cross the stage as the first graduate in cybersecurity analytics and operations, the newest four-year program at the campus. Penn State York offers 12 baccalaureate degrees that can be completed in York. 

Commencement speaker

Phillips-Hill was elected to serve York County residents in the Pennsylvania Senate in 2018 and was subsequently reelected in 2022. As a former small-business owner and school board director, she has made government efficiency a point of emphasis throughout her tenure in public service.

Throughout her first term in the Senate, Phillips-Hill spearheaded a concerted bipartisan and bicameral effort to improve access to high-speed internet in Pennsylvania through her role as chair of the Communications and Technology Committee and serves as one of four legislative appointments to the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority. She led the fight to provide flexible instructional days for school districts to use when unforeseen circumstances prevent students from entering the classroom. Her bill, which was signed into law, served as the model that ensured the continuity of education for students amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Her interest in education also was evident when she took the time to meet with students from Penn State York during Capital Day, an event where students travel to Harrisburg to talk with their legislators to discuss their experiences in higher education and ask questions concerning funding for Penn State.

During the 2023-24 session, she was elected by her colleagues to serve in leadership as the Senate Majority Caucus chair. She also serves as the vice chair of the Senate Communications and Technology Committee, is a member of the Senate Aging and Youth, Appropriations, Banking and Insurance, and State Government committees. She co-chairs the Manufacturing Caucus and the YMCA Caucus. She is the Senate Republican appointee to the Pennsylvania Broadband Development Authority.

Phillips-Hill earned a bachelor of arts degree in political science and a master’s degree in public policy from Rutgers University in New Jersey.

She resides in York Township with her husband, Rick. They have three grown children: Victoria, Gavin and Spencer.

Open microphone tradition

In addition to hearing from Phillips-Hill, Penn State York will continue its open microphone tradition, which affords graduates a brief opportunity to address the audience for a moment. Brynn MacDonald, a senior graduating with a degree in English, will speak on behalf of students in the graduating class.  

The campus will award associate, baccalaureate and master’s degrees during the program. Several students who studied at other Penn State campuses will participate in the York commencement. The ceremony is free and open to the public. 

For those who cannot attend the event, Penn State York’s commencement can be viewed on Comcast Cable Channel 18 or streaming live on the campus website.