West Virginia Wesleyan College holds outdoor commencement


BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – West Virginia Wesleyan College celebrated it’s graduates on Sunday. The college held the commencement outside on the field, at its Buckhannon campus, for more than 190 students.  

West Virginia Wesleyan College graduation

“I’m very excited to graduate today,” said Wesleyan College 2021 Senior Class President, Amanda Waston. “It’s bittersweet because the last four years have had a lot of good memories, but at the same time, I’m excited to get to move on and start something new in my life. This was definitely the toughest year I’ve ever had to go through academically, mentally, everything like that. So, to be able to overcome all of this, and be here with everyone, after this year it’s just great.” 

Keynote Speaker, Dr. Patrice Harris spoke in a prerecorded message to the students. Harris is the first Black woman to serve as President of the American Medical Association and is a Bluefield, West Virginia native.  

West Virginia Wesleyan College graduating students

The honorary degree recipient was Captain William S. “Bill” Norman. The Wesleyan graduate received a Doctor of Humane Letters. Norman was one of the first Black students to racially integrate the residence halls at West Virginia Wesleyan College. Norman earned a Bachelor of Science in chemistry and mathematics from the College, a Master of Arts in international relations from American University and a degree from Stanford’s Graduate School of Business’ Executive Program.   

Even though the rain didn’t hold off, the students were still glad to be able to celebrate” 

Parents at West Virginia Wesleyan College graduation

“I’m beyond excited, at the beginning of the year I had no idea if we would even be on campus second semester, so to be able to stand here and have everyone here and have two guests, our parents most likely here. I’m just beyond thrilled I couldn’t have asked for anything better,” Waston said. “I just want to say thank you to everyone, to not just all the faculty and staff but all of the administrators who had made this happen. This has been in the works for several months, and weekly meetings, so I’m just very thankful that we were able to make this work and that were here today.” 

On Friday, 31 nursing graduates were recognized in the School of Nursing’s Convocation Ceremony. Bachelor graduates received their pins while Master’s graduates were hooded. December 2020 graduates and May 2021 graduates also participated in the ceremony. The Kente and International Stole Ceremony and Baccalaureate were also held on Friday. 

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