Pedro Rivera and Dr. Danchien Lu to Receive Honorary Degrees

By Caitlin T. Burns | March 4, 2021

Pedro Rivera, former Pennsylvania Education Secretary and member of President Biden’s Agency Review Team for the Department of Education, and Dr. Danchien Lu, professor of mathematics at Jiangsu University, will receive honorary doctoral degrees from Arcadia University. Rivera, president of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology and an Arcadia University alumnus, will address graduates at Arcadia’s Commencement in May 2021. 

“During their careers in education, Pedro Rivera and Dr. Danchien Lu have made a transformative impact on students, teachers, families, and school districts,” said Dr. Ajay Nair, president of Arcadia University. “Their efforts have had a direct impact on guiding, mentoring, and preparing students for success after graduation, including first-generation college students. Their work in expanding educational opportunities both domestically and internationally align closely with what have been central tenets of Arcadia University’s mission throughout its history. We are honored that President Rivera and Dr. Lu will share in the celebration of the Arcadia Class of 2021 this year.” 

Pedro Rivera

Rivera, who earned his Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility at Arcadia in 2005, has been a leader for education in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for decades. He served as Secretary of Education for Pennsylvania from 2015 to 2020 and prior to that, as Superintendent of the School District of Lancaster, the first Latino to serve in either of these roles. Rivera also was a teacher, assistant principal, principal, and executive director for the School District of Philadelphia for 13 years. In 2014, the White House named him as one of 10 individuals as a Champion of Change for his efforts to transform urban education with his holistic approach to student success. In 2020, then-President Elect Biden named Rivera to the Agency Review Team for the Department of Education.

In October 2020, Rivera began his tenure as president of Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology, a residential, two-year, accredited technical college that provides equitable access to higher education to transform the lives of generations of families while supporting the economic growth of industry across the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. 

A first-generation college student, Rivera earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the Pennsylvania State University, a Master of Education Administration from Cheyney University, and a Superintendent’s Letter of Eligibility from Arcadia University in 2005.

Dr. Danchien Lu

A full professor of mathematics at Jiangsu University, Dr. Lu’s research areas include computability theory, differential equations, logic and foundations of mathematics, and applied mathematics.

Dr. Lu has been instrumental in Arcadia’s Mathematics and Applied Mathematics Undergraduate Joint Education program with Jiangsu University, a 2+2 and 3+1 program that was established in 2011. Students who complete either two years at Jiangsu and two years at Arcadia or three years at Jiangsu and one year at Arcadia earn Bachelor of Science degrees in Mathematics or Actuarial Science from both institutions.

Dr. Lu earned his bachelor’s and doctoral degrees in mathematics from Jiangsu University. He joined Jiangsu University in 1982 and also served as a visiting scholar at the Brandenburg University of Technology Cottbus in Germany in 2005-2006 and in 2007. 
Arcadia’s Commencement ceremonies are scheduled to run two days from Thursday, May 20 to Friday, May 21. More information will be communicated on the celebration when details are finalized.