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Peirce College Celebrates 148th Commencement


Peirce College Celebrates 148th Commencement

Lisa Nutter to serve as commencement speaker on June 10, 2013 and 17 Parent University graduates to receive degrees

PHILADELPHIA, June 10, 2013 -- 
This evening, Peirce College, Philadelphia’s leading private, non-profit, four-year accredited institution for working adult learners, will hold its 148th Commencement ceremony at the Kimmel Center’s Verizon Hall. President of Philadelphia Academies, Inc. and Philadelphia’s First Lady, Lisa J. Nutter, will deliver the keynote address.

Peirce will celebrate the graduation of 426 students, with 17 graduates coming from Philadelphia’s Parent University program, a groundbreaking initiative by the School District of Philadelphia and Peirce College to provide city parents with the opportunity to earn a college degree. In 2010, Peirce offered parents of enrolled Philadelphia School District children the opportunity to earn an associate degree in General Studies to help them get ahead in their careers or move to a more-fulfilling job path. Today marks the culmination of this three-year initiative as 17 parents are graduating and seven will continue their educational journey in pursuit of a bachelor’s degree.

Parent University serves as another demonstration of Peirce College’s ongoing commitment to driving college attainment throughout the Philadelphia and Greater Philadelphia region by educating working adult learners.

“We understand the challenges working adult learners face as they balance education and job responsibilities while raising our city’s children. By utilizing the tools, platform, and support provided by Peirce, they have shown that anyone with the right mindset can achieve success in higher education,” said Nadine Maher, Dean of Admissions at Peirce College.

“The School District of Philadelphia is proud to congratulate and celebrate with the graduates of Parent University at Peirce College,” said Dr. William R. Hite Jr., Superintendent of The School District of Philadelphia. “This three-year educational initiative has further supported Philadelphia’s longstanding commitment to education and degree attainment. Parents serve as the first teachers to our children and play a large part in their academic success, which only emphasizes the need for our parents to have a solid educational foundation. As a result of Parent University, we have provided the resources, support, and education necessary for our parents to succeed.”

For Carla Bell and Jennifer Boone, two proud Parent University graduates, their education at Peirce has served as a critical stepping stone in furthering their educational journeys and achieving their life goals.

Jennifer Boone, a 47-year-old mother of two and Philadelphia police officer of 21 years, came to Parent University to pursue her dream of being a teacher. Similar to many Peirce students, Boone worked full time on the police force and cared for her family, all while earning her college degree through Parent University.

“Peirce and Parent University made it possible for education to work for working parents,” said Boone. “My children are very proud of me, as I’ve proven to them that you are never too old to go back to school. With the opportunity to attend Peirce and a curriculum to guide me through my courses, I have been able to complete my coursework and achieve my goals. I believe I’ll be a lifetime learner,” continued Boone.

Another student, Carla Bell, 38, plans to use her associate degree in General Studies to continue her education and obtain a bachelor’s degree at Peirce College in Business Administration. She worked as a student advisor for the School District of Philadelphia and serves as an inspiration to her son and sister, who both enrolled at Peirce College after she joined the Parent University program. Carla plans to use her bachelor’s degree to fulfill her passion for entrepreneurship by becoming a small business owner. She also plans to go on for her master's degree at Peirce.

“This year’s graduating class marks a very special group of students at Peirce College,” said James J. Mergiotti, Peirce College President & Chief Executive Officer. “We are always proud of our students and are especially proud to send our first class of Parent University graduates into the workforce to obtain higher positions and achieve their personal and professional goals. These students have shown tremendous tenacity to achieve their degrees in the face of many obstacles, and as such, will serve as role models to their children, families, friends, and communities,” continued Mergiotti.

The College is honored to have Elsarra Elamin serve as this year’s Commencement student speaker. Elamin is an international student who grew up in both Sudan and Zimbabwe and is a member of the Delta Mu Delta National Honor Society. She will graduate with two degrees—a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Management (Cum Laude), as well as a bachelor’s degree in Accounting (Magna Cum Laude). While attending Peirce, she received the honor of Who's Who Among Students in American Universities and Colleges.

Lisa J. Nutter, Peirce’s keynote speaker and President of Philadelphia Academies, Inc., had a chance to speak with a small group of graduates in late May and said, “These are some of the most motivated, enthusiastic, and dedicated students I have ever met. They are serious about their education and their professional endeavors, and I am truly honored to celebrate their academic accomplishments with them.”

Kerri Kirlin, a Business Administration major with a concentration in Professional Studies, and winner of the 2013 Peirce Idol competition, will proudly sing the national anthem for friends, family, and peers during tonight’s Commencement ceremony.

Peirce College’s 2013 graduating class is 72 percent female. Thirty-two percent of its graduates range from ages 31 to 40, 29 percent range from ages 22 to 30, and 25 percent range from ages 41 to 50. In addition, 56 of Peirce’s graduates are 51 years old or older, proving it’s never too late to continue your education. The class of 2013 will also include Peirce’s inaugural graduating classes from the Healthcare Administration program and the Health Information Technology degree program, the only fully CAHIIM (Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education) accredited program of its kind in Philadelphia.

Peirce College’s 148th Commencement ceremony will take place in the Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center at 6:45 p.m. this evening with a reception for Parent University graduates immediately before the ceremony

About Peirce College
Peirce College offers bachelor’s and associate degree programs in the areas of Business, Healthcare, Information Technology, and Legal Studies, and a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership & Management. Located in the heart of Philadelphia, Peirce is a non-profit institution that specializes in serving the unique needs of working adults, many of whom work full time and are raising families. Peirce College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104 (phone: 267-284-5000). The Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs accredits the College's Business Administration and Accounting programs; the Paralegal Studies program is approved by the American Bar Association; and the Health Information Technology program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Health Informatics and Information Management Education.

For more information about Peirce College, call 888.467.3472 or visit

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