On Saturday, May 14, 2005, approximately 85 students received their associate or baccalaureate degrees at Penn State Wilkes-Barre's commencement ceremony in the Athletic & Recreation Building. Mark Sobeck, chair of the campus advisory board delivered the welcoming address, followed by class speaker Anthony Bosket and Amy Kozar, class valedictorian. Rebecca Bartuska inducted graduates into the Penn State Alumni Society.
Linda Schmidt, Penn State Wilkes-Barre alumna and reporter for WNYW-FOX 5 News, delivered the commencement address. Schmidt has been with Fox for the past 12 years, specializing in investigative and consumer-related reporting. She has covered some of the nation's biggest stories including the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centers and the crash of Flight 800. She has reported the news for FOX from Israel, Guatemala, Costa Rica, and Europe and has been nominated for 13 Emmys, winning 5 of them. Schmidt has also been honored with awards from the Associated Press, the New York State Broadcasters Association, and The New York Press Club.
Schmidt attended Penn State Wilkes-Barre from 1979-1981 before moving on to University Park where she earned her bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism. After graduation, Schmidt went to work for Q100, a radio station in Easton, PA. From there, she moved to Springfield, Missouri where she worked as a reporter and weekend weather woman at KOLR-TV. Before arriving at Fox 5 in NYC, she also worked at WTNH-TV in New Haven, CT and in Philadelphia.
Schmidt urged graduates to work hard and remember the importance of networking in their respective fields. "In real estate, it's location, location, location," she said. "In business, it's network, network, network."