York College to graduate 300

Alyssa Pressler
  • The college will have nearly 300 graduates receive degrees at the winter commencement ceremony.
  • Brian Baker, a Red Lion graduate, will speak on behalf of the students.
  • A Philadelphia-based entrepreneur and philanthropist also will address the students.

York College will give diplomas to nearly 300 graduates at its winter commencement. Among those graduates is Brian Baker, a Red Lion alum and the student speaker for the ceremony.

This isn't his first time giving a widely received speech. Baker also spoke at his graduation from Red Lion Area High School, and he was a member of the Spartan Nation Road Crew, an organization of students who travel the East Coast during winter breaks from school to network with alumni and speak with prospective students. For the receptions, Baker gave speeches to the crowds.

Student teacher Brian Baker works with students Bella Newman, left, and Hezekiah Ortiz in an autistic support class at Valley View Elementary School, Dec. 9, 2016. John A. Pavoncello photo

He admitted that speaking in front of such a huge audience at the winter commencement ceremony is nerve wracking. The early elementary education and special education double-major student plans to speak about taking chances — leaps of faith.

Baker said he will miss having his college friends all in one place, and it's easy to understand why. Baker was a student ambassador on the campus, meaning he gave tours to prospective students. He spent time on the campus activities board and planned alumni events as well as fun events for students. He also helped new students adjust in his position as an orientation leader.

Baker has interned at Indian Rock Elementary School and helped younger students one-on-one and in small groups before  landing a student teaching job in the same school district at Valley View Elementary School.

After graduation, Baker said, he's hoping to line up a long-term substitute teacher position that he's been interviewing for recently. He was inspired to become a teacher by his fifth-grade teacher. He enjoys working with younger students, though.

"Whatever career I got, I wanted to help people in some way," Baker said.

Baker is just one of the speakers for the big day. Wayne Kimmel, a Philadelphia-based entrepreneur and philanthropist, will be giving an address to the graduates and their families. Kimmel is the managing partner of SeventySix Capital, a venture capital firm he founded, and he has invested in a number of technology and health care companies.

Baker will introduce the faculty speaker, Erec Smith, an assistant professor in the Department of English and Humanities, according to a news release provided by York College.

At the ceremony, George Glatfelter II, a former chair of the college's Board of Trustees and a retired chairman and CEO of Glatfelter, will receive an honorary doctorate of humane letters. Glatfelter served as chairman from December 2012 to June 2016, but he has been a member of the board for 28 years, according to the release.

York College's winter commencement ceremony will take place at 10:15 a.m. Wednesdayat Grumbacher Sport and Fitness Center's M&T Field House, 441 Country Club Road, York.