Author and Journalist Seamus McGraw to Speak at Delaware Valley University’s In-Person Commencement

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Seamus McGraw
Courtesy: Seamus McGraw. Delaware Valley University has selected Seamus McGraw to serve as the Commencement speaker. He will receive an honorary degree from DelVal at Commencement.

The University will hold Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 15, and Sunday, May 16.

Delaware Valley University has selected nationally acclaimed author and journalist Seamus McGraw to address the graduates at five in-person Commencement ceremonies. The University will honor the Classes of 2020 and 2021 this year. McGraw will receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. Four commencement ceremonies will be held on Saturday, May 15 (undergraduate Class of 2021 divided by schools and the School of Graduate and Professional Studies – Class of 2021 and Class of 2020) and one commencement ceremony on Sunday, May 16 (undergraduate Class of 2020) at DelVal’s campus at James Work Memorial Stadium. See the times below for specifics. Due to COVID-19 protocols, the University will limit the number of guests at these in-person ceremonies as well as livestream the events.

McGraw is a Pennsylvania resident and an award-winning author and journalist. He is the author of highly regarded books such as, “A Thirsty Land: The Making of an American Water Crisis,” “The End of Country: Dispatches from the Frack Zone,” and “Betting the Farm on a Drought: Stories from the Front Line of Climate Change.” A veteran journalist who covered crime and environmental issues, he has been a regular contributor to many publications, including The New York Times, Huffington Post, Popular Mechanics, Reader’s Digest and The Forward. McGraw’s most recent book, “From a Taller Tower,” covers gun violence in the United States. McGraw has received many awards including the Freedom of Information Award from the Associated Press Managing Editors, the Golden Quill Award, and honors from the Casey Foundation and the Society of Professional Journalists.

“McGraw is a fitting and worthy recipient of a DelVal honorary degree,” said DelVal President Dr. Maria Gallo. “At Delaware Valley University, we encourage and empower students to work toward solutions to pressing issues. McGraw has used his career to bring attention to issues that have a wide-reaching impact. I hope his story will inspire students to think about the issues that are most important to them and the impact they can have as they pursue their personal and professional goals.”

The University’s Chair of the Board of Trustees, Majid Alsayegh, also will honor Dr. Gallo at the commencement ceremonies. President Gallo will be moving on at the end of the semester to pursue other opportunities.

Under Dr. Gallo’s five years of leadership, the University created a comprehensive strategic plan and a new vision: “to be the leader in experiential education, empowering all learners to transform the world.” A testament to that vision occurred when the University’s experiential learning program, Experience360, was honored with the 2019 Outstanding Experiential Education Program Award by the National Society of Experiential Education. During her tenure, freshman fall-to-fall retention rates significantly rose and the career outcomes rate became the highest in the history of DelVal at 94.4 percent. Additionally, the University has been thoughtfully expanding its graduate program offerings to include health science degrees that will be transformational. Dr. Gallo has made access and equity university-wide priorities. She established the President’s Commission on Diversity and Inclusion and the Division of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence. Dr. Gallo also served on numerous community, state and national boards raising the profile of Delaware Valley University.


Commencement Schedule

Saturday, May 15

10:00 a.m., School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences – Class of 2021

12:00 p.m., School of Business and Humanities – Class of 2021

2:00 p.m., School of Life and Physical Sciences – Class of 2021

4:00 p.m., School of Graduate and Professional Studies – Class of 2021 and Class of 2020

Sunday, May 16

10:00 a.m.

  • School of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences – Class of 2020
  • School of Business and Humanities – Class of 2020
  • School of Life and Physical Sciences – Class of 2020

More Information on Commencement:
Due to COVID-19 protocols, the University will limit the number of people at the ceremony to two guests per graduate. Masks will be required at the ceremonies. DelVal will be livestreaming and recording so that family and friends can watch live. For the livestream link and more information on the ceremonies, please visit