Gannon to Host Winter Commencement Ceremony Sunday, Dec. 9

Posted: December 4, 2012

Gannon University President Keith Taylor, Ph.D., will award some 210 degrees when the University hosts its Winter Commencement exercises.

The ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 9 in Gannon’s Hammermill Center, 620 Peach St.

The graduates include five doctoral degree recipients, 122 receiving master’s degrees, 80 receiving bachelor’s degrees, and three receiving associate’s degrees.

Three students will graduate summa cum laude, two magna cum laude, seven cum laude, and one with academic honors. In addition, the graduates are representative of six countries in addition to the United States: Bahamas, Canada, China, Rwanda, India, and Saudi Arabia.

Commencement activities also include the Baccalaureate Mass held in honor of the graduates at 11 a.m. in the Mary, Seat of Wisdom Chapel, 520 Peach St. A dessert reception will be held in the Waldron Campus Center, 124 W. Seventh St., immediately following the ceremony.

David W. Grzelak, a 1976 graduate of Gannon’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) program, will be the ceremony’s keynote speaker and honorary degree recipient.

Grzelak has had a long and successful career in business. In 2012, he was named chairman of the board of Komatsu America Corp., a subsidiary of Komatsu Ltd., a world leader in the manufacture of construction, mining, and compact construction equipment. Previously, in his 10 years as chairman/CEO of Komatsu America, he managed the company’s multi-billion dollar North American operations and its worldwide electric mining trucks business.

Grzelak began his career with GE Transportation Systems in 1971 in the Manufacturing Management Program following his graduation from The Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering. In his 20-year tenure with the company, he progressively rose through leadership positions in manufacturing, marketing, sales, and management, culminating in his position as manager, off-highway vehicles, in which he directed GE Transportation’s electric drive systems worldwide operations in sales, service, and parts.

He joined Komatsu Dresser Company in 1991 as vice president, sales, and assumed additional responsibility as vice president, sales and service, the following year. He was named chairman/CEO of Komatsu Mining Systems in 2000 and in 2002 was named chairman/CEO of Komatsu America Corp.

Grzelak’s commitment to service is exemplified by his membership on the boards of the Leonhard Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Education at Penn State and the Alamo Group, a publically traded company headquartered in Texas. He also served as non-executive director of Boart Longyear, Ltd., an Australian company with global headquarters in Utah.  Additionally, Grzelak has served on Komatsu subsidiary boards in Germany, Australia, South Africa, Latin America, and Chile.

Grzelak is a past recipient of Gannon’s Distinguished Alumni Award and also has returned to his alma mater for the Executive on Campus program.

He is a member of St. Francis de Sales Church in Lake Zurich, Ill., and he and his wife of 33 years, Diane, have a son, Michael; a daughter, Meghan; and four grandchildren, Talia, Ainslie, Rowan, and Mason.