Graduates this winter will receive a bit of mystery during commencement. New York Times best selling legal mystery author Lisa Scottoline will be the guest speaker for the graduation ceremony.Scottoline, whose work includes “Dead Ringer” and “Courting Trouble,” was born, raised, schooled and currently lives in the Philadelphia area. She received her baccalaureate in English from the University of Pennsylvania and a second degree in law from the University of Pennsylvania’s Law School. Her eleven published novels are all inspired by her experience as a trial lawyer and her judicial clerkships in the state and federal justice systems.
Scottoline has won the Edgar Award, the highest honor for a mystery writer, as well as the “Paving the Way” award from Women in Business and the “Distinguished Author Award” from Scranton University.
As a result of her achievements as a mentor for writers and readers in the community, West Chester University will be awarding her an Honorary Doctorate of Laws.
According to Public Relations director, Loretta MacAlpine, “WCU’s honorary degree committee makes recommendations to the Commencement committee on honorary degree recipients. While we have plenty of worthy candidates, sometimes it boils down to who is available on graduation day.”
Doctor of Laws, the honorary degree Scottoline will receive, is awarded based on a myriad of eligibility requirements. It is given to a person in government, public service, business, or industry who is distinguished for general service to the state, to learning and to humanity.
Valedictorian Benjamin Goldsborough will also be speaking at graduation. Goldsborough, the student president of the Honors Student Association, will be receiving his baccalaureate in music education with summa cum laude honors for achieving a 4.1 grade point average.
Goldsborough, a Downingtown resident, was one of two West Chester University students who traveled with the international Honors Scholar Study Program to South Africa in the summer of 2001.
Goldsborough’s accomplishments include working as assistant director of the marching band at Downingtown West High School, being selected as drum major for the marching band during his junior year, serving as section leader to five different musical ensembles, and receiving various awards and scholarships. He also served as a communication/speech tutor for the Academic Development Program.
After graduation, he plans to seek a full-time career as a music teacher.
Commencement ceremonies will be held at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in Hollinger Field House on South Church Street, Dec. 14.
The morning ceremony will be for undergraduate and graduate students in the School of Music, the School of Health Sciences and the College of Arts and Sciences.
The afternoon ceremony will be held for undergraduates and graduates in the School of Business and Public Affairs and the School of Education.
Six hundred and fifty students will be receiving baccalaureate degrees and 300 students will be obtaining their master’s degrees.