Due to a chance of rain, Shawnee State University (SSU) hosted their Spring Commencement indoors in the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts – rather than outside on the Alumni Green, where the event was originally scheduled to take place.
With nearly 500 graduates, the ceremonies were split into two sessions in order to accommodate the students and their families.
The first session was held at 9 a.m., and featured graduates receiving the following degrees, Master’s in Mathematics, Master’s in Education, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Individualized Studies, Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Science in Education.
“During my time at Shawnee State University I have learned many things that will enable me to become a successful teacher. The most important thing that I have learned at Shawnee, however, did not come from one specific class or one specific professor. At Shawnee State University, I learned the value of relationships. I wholeheartedly believe that each day I spent in the education program, I grew closer to the faculty as well as my peers. As an upcoming science teacher at West Union High School, I hope that I am able to impact and encourage my students in the ways my professors have impacted and encouraged me,” said Lacrissa Woolridge.
Woolridge received a Bachelors of Science in Education in Middle Childhood with a concentration in Language Arts and Science.
Fellow educator Jessie Monroe added, “I am so lucky to have attend a university that not only has given me the skills I need to be an effect teacher, but also facilitated job opportunities . The lessons, the connections, and the reputation of the Teacher Education Program, provided me the chance to sign a contact before graduating.” Monroe also accepted a position at West Union Junior/Senior High School.
The second ceremony began at noon for students receiving all Associate degrees, Bachelor of Athletic Training, Bachelor of Health Science, Bachelor of Science in Business and Bachelor of Science in Nursing degrees.
“My time in nursing school was challenging, but well worth it. I couldn’t have done it without the help from several staff members and my amazing classmates,” said Ashley Lansing. Lansing has accepted a job with the Southern Ohio Medical Center and has plans to continue her schooling to obtain her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing. She hopes to become a nurse practitioner and open her own practice.
University President Rick Kurtz opened the ceremonies by thanking the students and their families and congratulating them on their accomplishments. Following Kurtz, 1983 graduate Lloyd G. Martin addressed the students as the guest speaker.
Martin graduated from SSU with a degree in Plastics and Chemical Technology. Since, Martin has achieved over 30 years of work and leadership experience in manufacturing sites across the United States.
Martin shared his thoughts on what it takes to be successful, reminding students to stick to their core values and continue growing and learning.
The University Choir and Chorale performed You’ll Never Walk Alone/Climy Ever Mountain by Rodgers & Hammerstein.
Students were then presented with their degrees and the ceremonies ended with the singing of the Shawnee State Alma Mater.
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