Penn State Schuylkill announces commencement speaker

Marcus A. Whitehurst, vice provost for Educational Equity at Penn State, to address graduates

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. — Marcus A. Whitehurst, vice provost for Educational Equity at Penn State, will serve as the spring 2016 commencement speaker at Penn State Schuylkill. The ceremony is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. May 7 on the campus green.

Whitehurst assumed responsibilities as vice provost for Educational Equity effective Sept. 1, 2015, following nearly 20 years of educational leadership. As vice provost, he oversees 13 units with 75 staff members and works collaboratively with a number of offices, both within and outside the University, with a goal of ensuring equal opportunity for a diverse body of students, faculty, and staff at all Penn State locations. In addition to ensuring support for staff, undergraduate and graduate students, and several University commissions, as vice provost he works closely with the University Faculty Senate and individual faculty members to promote research, international exchanges, and partnerships.

“As a University, we strive to provide our students with the necessary skills to develop diverse partnerships that will assist them in becoming global leaders,” said Kelly M. Austin, chancellor of Penn State Schuylkill. “We are most pleased to have Dr. Whitehurst address this year’s graduating class and share his knowledge as a leading advocate for diversity, inclusivity, and equal opportunity.”

In other University service, Whitehurst chairs the Administrative Council on Multicultural Affairs (ACMA) and the Campus Environment Team (CET), and serves on President’s Council. He collaborates with the three President’s Commissions for Equity: The Commission on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Equity; the Commission on Racial/Ethnic Diversity; and the Commission for Women. He previously chaired the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemoration Planning Committee, collaborated on the University’s "A Framework to Foster Diversity at Penn State: 2010–15," a five-year plan to continue to build a diverse and equitable institution, and oversaw the Student Trustee Endowment Scholarship Committee.

Before becoming assistant vice provost in 2007, Whitehurst served in several capacities at Penn State, including director of the Multicultural Resource Center for nearly a decade. He also has served as acting diversity advocate, overseeing University initiatives to improve the campus climate, and served as a liaison for anyone reporting an incident of intolerance.

Whitehurst began his education at Binghamton University, The State University of New York, where he earned both a bachelor and a master of arts degree. He then went on to earn a master of education in higher education administration and a doctorate in educational theory and policy from Penn State. In addition, he has completed several postdoctoral training programs and taught courses in African and African American studies and language and literacy studies.