Spring 2016 Commencement

Penn State Altoona's spring 2016 commencement ceremony will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 10 a.m. in the Jaffa Shrine in Altoona.

GRADUATES, click Commencement Details on the menu to find out more about the ceremony.

#PSUgrad — Share the experience!

Soon-to-be graduates and families of soon-to-be graduates: Tell the world about your tremendous accomplishments. Share your photos and your thoughts and include the #PSUgrad hashtag on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Google+.


Because of the large number of seats available at the Jaffa Shrine, no tickets are required for guests to attend the ceremony. Likewise there is no limit on the number of guests per graduate.

Professional Photography

To commemorate this milestone occasion, a professional photograph will be taken of each graduate being congratulated by the chancellor. No pre-orders will be taken. Rather, photos can be viewed and ordered after commencement by visiting the Film Center's Web site.

In order to avoid congestion and to maintain decorum during the ceremony, we ask that family and friends refrain from approaching the platform when taking pictures or using a video camera.


Families and friends of the graduates have the opportunity to purchase commencement flowers either in advance of commencement or at the ceremony. To purchase flowers in advance, visit www.commencementflowers.com/pennstatealtoona. Flowers ordered in advance, as well as day-of purchases, will be available at the Commencement Flowers table in the main lobby of the Jaffa Shrine on commencement day.

About the Jaffa Shrine

Altoona’s Jaffa Temple was chartered on July 9, 1903; the dedication of the Jaffa Mosque at Chestnut Avenue and Seventeenth Street occurred on August 29, 1920. Rapid growth of membership resulted in the establishment of larger headquarters.

Thus, on September 25, 1930, the present Jaffa Shrine was dedicated and opened, celebrating twenty-seven years of growth and development.

Although the Jaffa Shrine has not changed since its dedication, through efforts of the trustees and the Jaffa Improvement Association, thousands of dollars have been expended each year to update and improve the building. Various activities, both social and philanthropic, have been the source of the Shrine’s success over the years.

The Shrine Circus each spring is the biggest and most successful activity at the Shrine, hosting nearly 6,000 persons, including hundreds of school children. The Jaffa Shrine also is host to concerts, seminars, trade shows, banquets, and other events throughout the year. Penn State Altoona celebrated it seventieth anniversary at the Jaffa Shrine on October 25, 2009, with a concert by the Doobie Brothers.

Commencement Speaker

Ashley Schroeder

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Ashley Schroeder

Ashley Schroeder is a 2005 graduate of Penn State, with a master's degree in Education. Schroeder lives in Brunswick, Ohio, with her husband, Ryan. She is an enthusiastic and energetic second grade teacher in her tenth year of teaching, having taught both first and second grade. She spent the first five years of her teaching career in the Altoona Area School District in Altoona, Pennsylvania, and currently is teaching in the Highland Local School District in Hinckley, Ohio.

In 2013, Schroeder spread her wings beyond the classroom as she began her journey as an entrepreneur in the teaching world, helping to make a difference in the lives of other teachers' students, and not just her own. Her journey started with the opening of a "Teachers Pay Teachers" shop, replete with digital teaching resources and materials. Her entrepreneurial journey has continued to grow and flourish, leading to numerous opportunities for her continued success and presence as a "teacherpreneur".

Schroeder is a passionate teacher-author on Teachers Pay Teachers at Schroeder Shenanigans in 2nd, LLC, and is looking forward to being one of the presenters this summer in Orlando, Florida, at the Teachers Pay Teachers conference. Schroeder also has a teaching blog, on which she shares educational and organizational ideas, resources, and strategies that help teachers and students around the world. She loves connecting with, learning from, and sharing teaching ideas and resources with other teachers and "teacherpreneurs" via social media. Her favorite places to connect with her colleagues online include Instagram and the popular live streaming app, Periscope. Schroeder loves to learn and grow every day as a teacher and as an entrepreneur through the endless and inspirational connections she has made with other teachers worldwide who share her passion for teaching.

For questions concerning commencement ceremonies:
Contact the Office of University Relations
Beech House, 814-949-5105

For questions concerning graduation requirements:
Contact , Registrar
E130 Smith Building, 814-949-5035