WEST LIBERTY, W.Va., April 27, 2021 — West Virginia State Senator Ryan Weld will deliver the commencement address at West Liberty University’s Spring 2021 Commencement Ceremonies.
It will be a virtual speech presented on the Main Street Bank Video Board at both the undergraduate and graduate ceremonies. Due to social distancing requirements, there is one graduate and three undergraduate and ceremonies planned for May 7 – 8, 2021.
WLU President W. Franklin Evans will preside at all ceremonies and faculty will participate in the ceremony for their respective colleges.
“We are grateful that Senator Weld will join us as our speaker. He is a leader committed to the future and we thank him for his ongoing support for higher education. We are honored by his presence,” Evans said.
The three undergraduate ceremonies are at 9 a.m., noon and 3 p.m., Saturday, May 8, in the Academic, Sports and Recreation Complex (ASRC). The graduate ceremony takes place at 5 p.m., Friday, May 7, also in the ASRC.
Weld grew up in Weirton and Wellsburg. He graduated from Brooke High School in 1998 and from Fairmont State University in 2003 with a bachelor’s degree in political science. In 2015 he obtained his law degree from Duquesne University.
In 2005 he was commissioned into the Air Force Reserve and spent several years on active duty in the U.S. Intelligence Community. In 2010 and 2011 he served as the Staff Intelligence Officer to the Provincial Reconstruction Team in Zabul, Afghanistan. Prior to that he served as the executive officer to the Director of Congressional Affairs of the Defense Intelligence Agency.
In 2016 Ryan was elected to represent the 1st Senatorial District, which includes Hancock, Brooke, and Ohio counties as well as a portion of Marshall County. Prior to that, he served one term in the West Virginia House of Delegates, representing the 2nd House District.
In the Senate he serves in the leadership as the Majority Whip, as well as being the chair of the Military Committee, the vice chair of the Judiciary Committee, and the vice chair of the Workforce Committee. He serves on the Confirmations, Health and Human Resources, and Banking and Insurance committees.
Ryan is an attorney with the law firm of Spilman Thomas & Battle in their Wheeling office. He and his wife, Alex, reside in Wellsburg.
Each ceremony also has a student speaker who is chosen by merit of GPA.
The 9 a.m. ceremony for the College of Education & Human Performance and the College of Liberal Arts student speaker is Abbey Bauer, Moundsville, W.Va.; the noon ceremony for the College of Sciences student speakers are Breanna Sayre, Wheeling, W.Va. and Kendall Souder, Elletsville, 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 is student speaker is Rebekah Teter, Shanks, W.Va.
The Graduate Ceremony student speaker is Anna Malone, Clarksburg, W.Va.
Due to pandemic safety concerns, guests are limited to two guests for each graduate and no receptions will follow the ceremonies. The ASRC will be cleaned and sanitized after each ceremony. All guests and graduates, speakers and staff will be masked and socially distanced.
The 2021 Commencement ceremonies also will be streamed live on Topper Station and will be broadcast live on social media.
Established in 1837, West Liberty University is a forward-looking, four-year public university steeped in a rich heritage as West Virginia’s oldest institution. Today it offers more than 70 undergraduate majors, plus a growing number of graduate programs. For more information on WLU, please call 1.866.WESTLIB or visit westliberty.edu.