West Liberty University graduates changed a rainy December day into a sunny moment as they celebrated fall commencement at 11 a.m., Dec. 15. President Stephen Greiner presided over the ceremony held in the Academic, Sport and Recreation Complex.
Graduating student speaker Meagan Ford, from Silver Spring, Md., provided student reflections. She earned an accounting degree from the Gary E. West College of Business and graduated with the highest grade point average in the College of Business.
“I chose West Lib because I went to a large high school and I wanted to be at a college where I would meet people and not just be one in a crowd. West Lib provided me with many opportunities to try things that I never would have tried at a large university. My freshman year, I managed the softball team, I wrote for the school paper, and I joined the Fellowship of Christian Athletes,” she said.
Ford went on to talk more about individual tasks she took on during her time as a student and her growth in her faith. She hopes to continue her path of learning and making the most of new opportunities after commencement.
“I encourage you, too, to reflect on how you have grown over your time here at West Lib. To boldly approach the doors of opportunity and continue your journey of personal growth,” she said.
President Greiner then introduced president and CEO of WesBanco Todd F. Clossin as commencement speaker and conferred upon him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Clossin spoke on ethics, beginning by sharing the fact that his nickname is Boy Scout because he makes a practice of trying to do what is right according to his values, both professionally and personally. He stated that his values aren’t unique and are especially important in difficult circumstances.
“The line between right and wrong is often blurred … but when you have a solid set of ethics, life’s decisions aren’t that tough,” he said. “Many powerful people make bad decisions though due to situational ethics.”
Clossin gave examples of situational ethics and then gave a bit of advice:
“Make every professional decision as if it will be written on the front page of the newspaper. If you conduct yourself in this manner, you’ll sleep well at night and be an example to others,” he suggested.
“Don’t be tempted by the situation. Remember tough times don’t create character, they reveal it.”
He also took time to discuss the importance of emotional intelligence and suggested the students may want to read the book, “The Leadership Challenge” by Kouzes and Posner.
Clossin further added that empathy is required to be a good leader and discussed leadership styles.
One last bit of advice he had for the Class of 2018 was each of them should create their own personal mission statement, consisting of six words only. He shared his which is “enjoying the journey is the goal.”
“Congratulations. You have a first-rate education, that no one can take away from you. Keep learning … and enjoy your journey both professional and personally.”
Commencement music was provided by the WLU Concert Band under the direction of Professor Patrick Garrett with soloist Elizabeth E. Conley.
New to the ceremony was the addition of the Main Street Bank video board, a 9-foot by 16-foot screen with LED 4K (ultra high definition) technology, offering a live feed of the ceremony.
One hundred and forty graduates were included in the fall commencement class and a reception for graduates, guests and families immediately followed the ceremony and was held in the College Union.
Masters degree candidates by hometown (or country) are as follows:
Moundsville: Brittany L. Poplawski, Rebecca Ann Stoffel
Triadelphia: Kayla Renee Henderson
Valley Grove: Amber Loew
Weirton: Corliss McGee Brown, Paul R. Buffington, Jordan Elizabeth Davidson, Molly Ann Kopa, Nicole Irene Serafine
West Liberty: Lukas O’Connor, Katlynn Elaine Talkington
Wheeling: Olayemi Anifaloyin, Louis M. Bator, Amanda S. Crews, Kristin Marie Patterson, Alex Michael Rader, Stephanie M. Stauver, Amy R. Whipkey
Aurora: Brian Wells
East Liverpool: Kyde Lynn Kelly
Freeport: Suzanne Denise Howells
St. Clairsville: James D. Hill, Rosemarie C. Rockaway
Shadyside: Nikki Jo Butts
Toronto: Laura Michelle Thornton
Westerville: Kierra Kaezanna Simpson
Clinton: Jason E. Zimmer
Houston: Tanner William Sutton
Pittsburgh: Temitope Maria Oduwaiye
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INDIA: Neha Handa. ISRAEL: Nur Masarwa
NIGERIA: Adetola Jacob Adegbesan
Undergraduate degree candidates by hometown are as follows:
Augusta: Tyler M. Corbin
Beech Bottom: Jamie Paulette Shaffer
Bethany: Ashley E. Sherman
Cairo: Chance Michael Haugh
Cameron: Josie Kathryn Garland, Carrie A. Paith
Dallas: Theresa A. Smith
Follansbee: Heath R. Hildreth, Raleigh B. Mason, Sasha M. Phillips, Noah Teaff, Savannah R. Wohnhas
Frankford: Heather M. Gillespie
Glendale: Marley Elizabeth Keller
Kerens: Dalton M. Bobes
Keyser: David Reid Boden
Lost Creek: Tonya LeeAnn Ables
Martinsburg: Elizabeth Evelyn Conley, Skylar T. Leaton, Sierra Angeline Wilson
Mineral Wells: Katherine Marie Adams
Moundsville: Emily Margaret Artimez, Charles Michael Bursee, William Charles Gorby, Allegra Gossett, Ross Edward Lockhart II, Danielle N. Minder, Kaleigh Danielle Sikora, Craig Allen Vega Jr., Roger Thomas Wells
New Cumberland: Jacklynn Cool, Daniel Elias Morgan, Tyler Warrick
New Martinsville: James R. Powell, Heather Renee Riley, Jacob W. Starkey
Paden City: Victoria Silver Anderson, Carlyn Danielle Slider
Triadelphia: Rebecca Lynn Beiter, Coty Knecht
Valley Grove: Tanner Joshua Och
Weirton: Ashley Boyer, Tyler Jay Conrad, Kayla Hinchee, Kendall Rae Hukill, Amy Elizabeth Marosz, Jake Robert Riccelli
Wellsburg: Caleb Isinghood, Megan L. Lees
Wheeling: Jessica A. Childers, Charli Shea Goodwin, Debra C. Grall, Jessica Haley Hopkins, Sarah L. Jones, Kayla C. Koscevic, Logan Elizabeth Kuhns, John D. Kulpa, Keren Kasongo Lubembo, Melissa Anne McCamic, Robert J. McConnell Jr., Adriana Carolina Parra Gonzalez, Emily Nicole Roe, Gerardo Arturo Sarmiento, Bethani Ann Shackelford, Sydnie Gwen Stewart, Aarian Marshell Stradwick, James R. Tankovits, Emily Jean Toland, Blake Russell Williams, Carrie Jo Yost
Bellaire: Teresa Lynn Conners
Bridgeport: Amanda J. Barath, Kyle C. Imer, Amber Millard
Cambridge: Alyssa Y. Bartlett
Clarington: Kari Leigh Dietrich
Crooksville: Jalyn Kay Bolyard
Martins Ferry: Michael A. Lloyd, Courtney Allison Moore, Shelby Moore, Cara Pasco, Laura Elizabeth Schubert
Mingo Junction: Emily Jane Stephens
Rayland: Eric T. Williams
Richmond: Paige Winland
Shadyside: Gregory Thomas Calinger, John N. Ferrelli
St Clairsville: Logan T. Kinney, Gabrielle M. Smolenak
Wellington: Rachel Elizabeth Krems
Bridgeville: Benjamin Louis Berkovitz
Pittsburgh: Brianna Renk
West Alexander: Brooke N. Dorsey
Undergraduate degree candidates from other states and countries are as follows:
FLORIDA — Royal Palm Beach: Joseph Angelo Ierulli. Rockledge: Jennifer S. Trikones
MARYLAND — Silver Spring: Meagan Riley Ford
MISSOURI — Springfield: Shannon M. McDermott
TEXAS — Austin: Callaway Morgan Barr
VIRGINIA — Alexandria: Osman Kargbo
TURKMENISTAN — Natalya (Natasha) Muhametzyanova
Summer 2018 Graduates who participated in the December ceremony:
Masters degree candidates by hometown are as follows:
Follansbee: Alexis P. Richards
McMechen: Ardell Marie Mayhugh
Parkersburg: Evan J. Fordyce
Ripley: Mitch A. Smith
Wellsburg: Nina Kaye Sparks
Belmont: Amanda Nichole Miracle
Bridgeport: Amanda Lynn Blust, Thomas Edward Blust Jr.
East Liverpool: Taryn Elizabeth Eastham
Mount Pleasant: Kalyn Malorie Kelley
Orwell: Erich M. Zirzow
Pickerington: Norman E. Honecker
Shadyside: Danielle Sue Kaluger, Chad R. Wilson
St Clairsville: Rachel Marie Blackwell, Staci Trudo
Avella: Evan Donald Midler
Canonsburg: Joshua Owen Six, Joseph L. Tysk
Hillsbro: Erin Lucinda Hagan
Undergraduate degree candidates by hometown are as follows:
Bethany: Kelsey Anne Nicholes
Friendly: Lisa S. Wood
Moundsville: Laurie Ellen Bumgardner, Emily Nicole Claycomb, Taylor E. Feiock, Melissa A. O’Donnell, Chrystal Ann Webb
Pennsboro: Vincent Kevin Cantrell
Wellsburg: Beth Ann Buchanan
Wheeling: Randall John Dlesk Jr., Zadok Elisha Eniss, Kyle S. Gilson, Megan Christine Griffin, Hannah Olivia Wilson