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More than 700 to Join Wilkes Alumni Family at Commencement
On Saturday, May 20, Wilkes will celebrate the achievements of our graduates at the 70th Annual Spring Commencement exercises, which will be held in the Arnaud C. Marts Sports and Conference Center. During the ceremonies, a member of the Alumni Association Board of Directors, Michael Noone '97, will welcome 776 graduates to the alumni family and present Casara McCleaf  '17, a double major in math and computer science, with the Alumni Association Award for Leadership.

The speaker at the graduate ceremony will be Dr. Bernard Graham, founding dean of the Nesbitt School of Pharmacy at Wilkes. Graham, who is retiring at the end of the current academic year, helped to found the pharmacy school at Wilkes and has been its only dean since its founding. The school celebrated its 20-year anniversary in fall 2016. Wilkes President Patrick F. Leahy will address students at the undergraduate ceremony and will award an honorary doctor of humane letters degree to John J. Passan  at the ceremony. Passan, a businessman and philanthropist, and his wife, Ann, gave a $3.3 million gift to create the Passan School of Nursing at the University. 
If you are unable to attend the commencement ceremonies, you can watch them online! Click here to access our live stream.

Farewell Seniors - Welcome Alumni
Throughout the spring semester, the alumni and development offices have helped the class of 2017 celebrate the close of their time as students and the start of their lives as young professionals and Wilkes alumni. The graduating class has been raising funds to purchase an emergency management trailer to be used at University events. View photos from the class of 2017’s Senior Week.

The Founders Gala 2017 has sold out! Mr. Frank M. Henry, Chairman Emeritus of Martz Group, will be honored with the prestigious President's Medal at the event. For more information, please contact Jennifer Ciarimboli at (570)408-4953 or

Homecoming 2017 will be held October 6-8 and it's less than 6 months away! Reunion groups include classes ending in 2s & 7s. We'll have a variety of academic reunions, as well. View additional Homecoming details, such as hotel information by clicking here.

Support Wilkes Today!
As we approach the end of our fiscal year, we are reminded how important alumni support is to Wilkes. Whether your gift is designated to scholarships, mentoring programs, student activities, or other areas, the Wilkes experience is special and unique, thanks to our donors. Make your gift before May 31 and receive a Wilkes alumni t-shirt (pictured below).

Take the Colonel on Vacation!
For the past several years, the Colonel has traveled the world with alumni, visiting places both near and far. He went west with psychology professor, Dr. Robert Bohlander to the Grand Canyon & Zion National Park; experienced New Orleans with Leslie Jenkins '65; fished with Rich Ogin '71; and posed for a quick pic in Alaska with Kristin Hake Klemish '04 & Ryan Klemish '04.  If you would like to bring the Colonel on your vacation, contact the alumni office at or (570)408-7787 and we’ll send him to you. We’ll share your photos on our Facebook page.

Alumni Association Open Board Meeting
Interested in learning more about the Alumni Association? Participate in our open meeting on Friday, June 2, 2017, ‚Äčat 3 p.m. Whether you join us on campus or call in to the meeting, you’ll get a firsthand look at how our board of directors works with its campus partners to provide programs for the alumni community. If you are interested in participating, please contact the Office of Alumni Relations at or (570) 408-7787.

Dr. Asif Ilyas '97 is a physician and an orthopaedic surgeon, who operates at the Rothman Orthopaedic Specialty Hospital in the Greater Philadelphia Area. He was recently featured in The New York Times because of clinical expertise in wide-awake surgery. This relatively new type of surgery, where the patient is awake for the entire procedure, is becoming more popular due to financial reasons for the patient and for transparency reasons for the surgeon.

After being inspired at Wilkes University, Asif went on to complete a total of 10 years of medical schooling and training to place him as one of the "Top Doctors" in the Philadelphia area. He is a graduate of MCP-Hahnemann School of Medicine (now Drexel University) and completed his orthopaedic surgery training at Temple University Hospital. Subsequently, he completed his fellowship at Harvard’s Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston prior to returning to the Philadelphia area.

"Wilkes has a strong pre-health sciences program," says Asif. "The foundation of my education there was well-structured. The faculty and curriculum were focused on making sure students had a good base for a professional career in the health sciences." 

As an orthopaedic surgeon, Asif specializes in hand surgery and trauma surgery. Being a successful surgeon isn't the only hat that Asif wears. He's also a dedicated educator. He maintains a busy academic schedule which includes serving as an Associate Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the Jefferson Medical College and also serving as the Program Director of the Hand & Upper Extremity Surgery Fellowship. Outside of his clinical practice and teaching commitments, Asif also serves as the Vice President of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society, and is scheduled to serve as President in 2019.

Asif has been successful because he reminds himself to never be complacent. "I'm always trying to excel and lead – lead not only clinically, but also academically and politically."

For those considering a career in medicine, Asif says "Don't be daunted by the years of training. The training is long, but the time it takes doesn't matter. Any worthwhile career will always be tough in the beginning, particularly in the health sciences."

In addition to his work, he is building awareness for the opioid epidemic and is informing medical professionals on how to better prescribe these types of drugs. Asif also has published more than 100 peer reviewed publications, 20 book chapters, and 3 books. His work has been featured in The Philadelphia Inquirer and, as previously mentioned, The New York Times

Asif met his wife during medical school and has three children (ages 14, 12 and 10). In his spare time, he spends time with his family, travels widely, enjoys movies and plays racquetball. He lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia, Penn. 

PHOTO CREDIT: Mark Makela for The New York Times | Pictured above: Dr. Asif Ilyas '97 in the process of completing a wide-awake surgery.

Do you have expertise in a specific subject or industry? Do you know a fellow Wilkes grad who does? Let us know and it could be featured in a future newsletter!

Did you get married or receive a promotion? Maybe you had a baby or bought a new home! Tell us what's going on by updating your contact information today!

Patrons requesting accommodations or services at Wilkes University or Wilkes University-sponsored events in accordance with The American with Disabilities Act (ADA) Title III: Public Accommodations are asked to contact the University at 1-800-Wilkes-U to request such services/accommodations. It is recommended that requests be made at least 48 hours prior to any event. Wilkes University is an equal opportunity institution. For information on the University's Policy on Non-Discrimination, visit

Spring Commencement Ceremony
May 20

Founders Gala 2017
June 3

Homecoming 2017
Save-the-Date: October 6-8

Visit for the latest athletics news!

Eight Wilkes Student-Athletes Named to Spring MAC Sportsmanship Teams

Baseball’s Brown, Nixon, and Slocum Named All-MAC Freedom


Women’s Golf Concludes Play at MAC Championships

Men’s Golf Finishes 7th at MAC Championships; Anderson Earns 10th Overall

Men's Tennis Ends Season in NCAA Second Round Against No. 10 Williams

Women's Tennis Concludes Season with 5-0 Loss to Williams in NCAA Second Round

Women’s Volleyball Announces Trip to Puerto Rico for Fall 2017

Softball’s Staunton named All-ECAC Division III North

Men’s Lacrosse’s Stolicker and Weitzel named All-MAC Freedom

Women’s Lacrosse’s Held Tabbed All-MAC Freedom

Women’s Soccer to Host Pair of ID Clinics

Men’s and Women’s Swimming to Host ID Clinic

We want to know what you've been up to! Share your news with your fellow alumni by emailing information to Jacki Lukas at and it will appear in the next e-newsletter.

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William Plummer
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Asif Ilyas
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