West Liberty, W.Va., Dec. 15, 2018 —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 (ASRC).
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 GPA 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 personal 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, just try to avoid situational ethics.
“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,” Clossin said. “Many powerful people make bad decisions 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 that 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.
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.
The Commencement Ceremony was televised live on WLU-TV 14 (Comcast Channel 14 and online at wltvonline.com) and will be rebroadcast over the weekend.
For more information on WLU, please call 1.866.WESTLIB or visit westliberty.edu.