West Liberty, W.Va., May 8, 2021 — West Liberty University hosted hybrid commencement ceremonies for the Class of 2021 on the weekend of May 7 – 8.
Graduates from the Class of 2020 who were unable to participate in a live ceremony last spring due to the pandemic also were invited to participate and all ceremonies were held in the Academic, Sports and Recreation Complex (ASRC).
A total of 443 degrees were conferred this spring consisting of 28 associate degrees, 323 bachelor degrees and 75 master degrees. An additional 17 degrees will be conferred at a later ceremony on June 11 for the physician assistant graduate class after they complete clinical rotations.
WLU President W. Franklin Evans presided at all ceremonies and West Virginia Senator Ryan Weld spoke at each ceremony in a virtual presentation on the Main Street Bank Video Board. Each ceremony had a different student speaker who delivered a live speech.
Faculty participated in the ceremony for their respective colleges only and guests were limited to two per graduate. All ceremonies began with a greeting from the president.
“Graduates: We will miss you. But we will not forget you Class of 2021 and those who returned from the Classes of 2020 to be celebrated and honored, we want you always to be proud of your alma mater. We want the value of your West Liberty degree to grow, as you grow personally and professionally in the years to come,” said President Evans.
“Visit the campus, not just at homecoming or reunions, but at any time. West Liberty is and will remain your home forever.”
Weld’s speech focused on the pride of earning a college degree and the next step.
“What are you going to do next? You’re going to make your mark on the world and make your community and your state a better place. Go out and make your mark. Go out and make a difference. Use your degree that you earned here to make a difference.
Not just build a better life for your family. You will use your degree and use what you have and use the knowledge that you gained and go out and make a difference in the world. What you have isn’t just a diploma but a ticket to a network of alumni across the country. You are now a small part of a bigger network. Use that network to your advantage.”
“I want to say congratulations to all graduates and family members who have supported you along the way. Make sure that you thank them as well. It’s been my honor to represent the school in the past several years in the state senate and to represent your interests as well.”
The graduate degree ceremony took place Friday, May 7 and the student speaker was Anna Malone of Clarksburg, W. Va. who earned a Master of Arts in Education degree.
The three undergraduate degree ceremonies took place on Saturday, May 8. The 9 a.m. ceremony for the College of Education & Human Performance and the College of Liberal Arts included comments from student speaker Abbey Bauer of Moundsville. The noon ceremony for the College of Sciences included student speakers Breanna Sayre of Wheeling and Kendall Souder of Ellettsville, Ind.
The 3 p.m. ceremony for the College of Arts & Communication, the Gary E. West College of Business, and the School of Professional Studies featured student speaker Rebekah Teter of Shanks, W.Va.
Chairman of WLU Board of Governors Rich Lucas, who also is an alumnus, greeted the graduates in a virtual presentation at all ceremonies. Lucas stressed the value of their degrees and encouraged the graduates to stay in the “West Liberty University family” as they move forward.
WLU’s singers performed the National Anthem and Alma Mater and began the ceremony.
The ceremony was live on WLU’s streaming platform Topper Station (topperstation.com) and on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube LIVE.
The virtual ceremony also aired live on WLU-TV14 (Comcast Channel 14) and will be replayed throughout the day. All ceremonies also are archived on Topper Station for viewing later.
West Liberty University is West Virginia’s oldest institution of higher education and offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, plus a growing number of graduate programs. For more information, please call 1.866.937.8542 (WESTLIB) or visit westliberty.edu, follow WLU on social media or view westliberty.edu/youtube.