WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., May 1, 2020 — It will be a commencement to remember as West Liberty University prepares to celebrate the Class of 2020 in a first-time ever virtual ceremony presented by Topper Station, WLU’s streaming platform at 11 a.m., Saturday, May 9.
Three hundred and seventy-one students are expected to complete their degree requirements during the spring semester and each one will be featured on the screen during the streamed event.
“We look forward to this very special moment and to honoring this unique class that is the first to have a virtual ceremony. It is a testament to their resilience that these students were able to adapt under pressure and perform so well during this unusual semester. We congratulate each member of the Class of 2020 and recognize them for beating the pandemic in this meaningful way,” said President Stephen Greiner.
Greiner will confer degrees and deliver his remarks at the ceremony. A total of 67 master degrees, 39 associate degrees and 288 undergraduate degrees will be conferred (some students earned more than one degree).
Provost Dr. Brian Crawford and each college dean will present and read the names of those students graduating with honors.
Board of Governors Chairperson Rich Lucas also will congratulate graduates.
Additional remarks will be made by distinguished guests including alumnus and country music star Brad Paisley via video message. Other dignitaries participating in commencement via video message includes:
- Governor Jim Justice
- Senator Joe Manchin
- Senator Shelley Moore Capito
- Congressman David B. McKinley
- Senator William J. Ihlenfeld II
- Senator Ryan W. Weld
- Delegate Erikka Storch
- Delegate Shawn Fluharty
- Mayor Glenn Elliott
- Ohio County Schools Superintendent Kim Miller
- Chairman of the WLU Foundation Board David Croft
Executive Director of Alumni Ron Witt and Wall of Honor Alumni Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler, Richmond Glover, John Hoppers and Gary West will share their best wishes with graduates as well.
Mackenzie Sims of Davisville, W.Va., will be the student speaker. An elementary education major graduating from the College of Education and Human Performance, she earned the highest marks in her college, making her eligible for this honor.
Sims was a student athlete and played outside hitter and defensive specialist on the volleyball team for four years. She is a member of Chi Omega Sorority and the daughter of David and Leslie Sims. Her speech will focus on perseverance in the face of adversity.
The graduating student with the highest grade point average in each respective college is selected as the virtual banner carrier and these include:
- College of Arts & Communication, Kelsey Hayden, Charles Town, W.Va. and Elaine Klar, Weirton, W.Va.
- College of Sciences, Caitlin Devries, Evans City, Pa., Nicholas Nestor, Wheeling, W.Va. and Brianna Ritz, New Martinsville, W.Va.
- West College of Business, Coleton Berletch, Benwood, W.Va.
- College of Education and Human Performance, Calesha Williamson, Charleston, W.Va.
- College of Liberal Arts, Barbara Baker, Sisterville, W.Va.
- School of Professional Studies, James Golden, Ashland, Ohio
The virtual ceremony also will air live at 11 a.m., May 9 on WLU-TV14 (Comcast Channel 14) and will be replayed throughout the day.
A live ceremony will be scheduled at a later date when it is safe to do so.
Students in the Physician Assistant Studies Master’s Degree Program, which has a commencement ceremony planned for June 12, will graduate later this spring.
West Liberty University is West Virginia’s oldest public university and today it offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, plus a growing number of graduate programs, both online and on campus. For more information, please call 1.866.937.8542 (WESTLIB), visit westliberty.edu or follow WLU on social media.