WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., Dec. 13, 2014 — West Liberty University President Robin C. Capehart presided over the Fall Commencement exercises held at 11 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 13, in the Academic, Sports and Recreation Complex (ASRC).
Main Street Bank President and WLU alumnus Richard Lucas delivered the commencement address to the 169 students, their family, friends and other guests. President Capehart also presented Lucas with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
Prior to Lucas’ speech, graduates heard from student speaker Justin Byers, a criminal justice major from Bunker Hill, W.Va., who began by thanking his parents. He continued by detailing a few highlights of his college career, which included majoring in Criminal Justice and studying in Washington, D.C. as a student intern.
“One of the most unique experiences I had was my summer internship in D.C. As a Criminal Justice major, I was required to complete an academic internship and I had the opportunity to complete mine with the United States Marshals Service. It was a great experience, as I was able to make amazing contacts and experience the criminal justice system on the federal level,” he said.
Byers also mentioned the benefit of his time as a member of the cross country and track teams and his work study experience with Campus Police. His next step is to join the United States Navy.
After Byers’ speech, President Capehart returned to the podium and introduced Lucas.
Lucas began by advising the graduates to remember that knowledge comes with experience.
“I’m the bank president …. but I don’t know it all. Knowledge comes with experience,” he said.
He suggested that the graduates stay stubborn and focused throughout life’s journey.
“You must be stubborn and focused. You must be persistent and chase your goals with a passion and relentlessness,” he said.
He referred to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words of wisdom to work through obstacles. “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.”
Lucas also offered helpful tips to success that included: finish what your start, protect your reputation, take care of your financial life, stay humble and be active in community service and always have a goal.
He suggested too that their degree from WLU degree puts them with “the best of the best.”
“You have prepared yourself. You have a most respected degree from a most respected university,” he said, while reminding them not to compare themselves with others.
Lucas ended with his reminder to stay stubborn with life’s goals and the suggestion that tomorrow will come around soon, so have some fun today and celebrate today’s accomplishments.
After Lucas’ speech honor graduates were announced and received standing applause, prior to the presentation and conferral of degrees.
Also providing inspiration was the West Liberty University Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Dr. Matthew Inkster.
View the complete commencement ceremonies on WLU-TV 14.