By Francesca Miller, Staff Writer
After a long semester of papers and exams, West Liberty University (WLU) seniors will bid farewell to the hilltop as they graduate on Saturday, May 12 at 11 a.m. in the ASRC.
The day will surely be bittersweet for most graduates as they say goodbye to West Liberty and look forward to their future in the “real” world. Currently there are 296 students expected to graduate, and Scott Cook, Dean of Students, said this number is higher compared to previous years.
Doors of the ASRC will open for seating at 9:30 a.m. on May 12. Tickets are not required to attend, so seating will run as a first come first served basis.
This year commencement ceremonies will focus on the fact that West Liberty is celebrating its 175th anniversary as an institution. Because of the monumental anniversary the commencement speakers chosen are two faculty members who have a long history at WLU.
Professor Alfred de Jaager, the director of choral activities, has been with West Liberty since 1966. The second commencement speaker, Jim Watson, serves as West Liberty’s director of athletics and has been with the University since 1971.
In addition to the faculty speakers, graduates will also hear one of their own speak at commencement. This year’s student commencement speaker is Victoria Cavorini, a Graphic Design major from St. Clairsville, Ohio. The student commencement speaker is chosen based on the student with the highest GPA in his or her college, rotating through each college every semester. There will also be seven other students carrying their college banners having earned the honor by having the highest GPA in their college.
The banner carriers are Krista Kent for the College of Sciences, Sharon Cain and Karissa Martin for the College of Arts and Communication, Cody Thomas for the College of Business, Olivia Fristick for the College of Education, Rebecca Childers for the College of Liberal Arts, and Theresa Calvert for the School of Professional Studies.
The ceremony is estimated to last until 1 p.m. followed by a reception in the Student Union for parents and graduates. A professional photographer will be on location during the event and professional photographs will be made available for purchase.