PARKERSBURG - About 87 students attended the 2012 Fall Commencement at West Virginia University at Parkersburg on Friday evening.
WVU-P President Marie Foster Gnage praised the students and families in their valiant efforts. WVU-P's fall 2012 graduating class includes 236 candidates for graduation who will receive about 279 degrees and certificates.
"Seldom can the achievement of a college degree be made in isolation," Gnage said, acknowledging parents and loved ones of their help to the students.
Photo by Mandi Cardosi
A large crowd gathered in the activity center at West Virginia University at Parkersburg on Friday for the 2012 fall commencement.
Loren Bell, president of the Student Government Association, reminded her fellow classmates of the hard work it takes to receive a college diploma. She told students they should be proud of the example they have set for their family and friends.
"To climb steep hills requires a slow pace at first," she said. "It was your willpower that got you here today."
The honorary address was given by state Sen. Donna Boley, R-Pleasants. Boley reminded students of the type of attitude that can carry them all throughout life.
"Your future is in your hands and you drive your own force," she said. "There may be times when others have more than you but it's important to know these are your first steps to a promising future."
Two honorary degrees were given out by administrators at Friday's ceremony. Robert Enoch, president of the Wood County Historical Preservation Society, and Michael Miller, an active member of the WVU-P campus, received the degrees from Gnage.
"Bob has an untiring commitment to history, especially the history of those who seemed to have mattered least to society in life and earth," she said. "History is his passion, and although he does not have formal education in the discipline, his passion has served the community well."
Miller has served on the board of directors for the WVU-P Foundation and most recently gave his labor, materials, supervision and monetary resources to construct an outdoor shelter for the college's new center for early learning.
"Mike grew up within the shadows of the college and has always been a positive contributor to our college and community," said Gnage.
Students were left with thoughts from Boley on holding their own destiny in their hands.
"Never give up on your journey," she said.