West Virginia Wesleyan College 133rd Commencement honors tenacity of Class of 2024

BUCKHANNON, West Virginia – As the speaker during West Virginia Wesleyan College’s 133rd Commencement Exercise emphasized giving to others, the Class of 2024 demonstrated they are hearing the call by raising support for the Center for Counseling and Well-Being on Campus to benefit students in the future.

Mark Phillips, president and CEO of Catholic Charities of West Virginia, gave the commencement address entitled “A Defense of Insignificance” and encouraged the graduates to consider how they can give to others.

“By putting aside our own innate selfish interests and recognizing our own insignificance, we can focus on the present moment, on the person beside us, on the people in our communities and the people in our world,” Phillips said. “We add meaning in our lives and we increase our sense of satisfaction.”

“You must change your life. I challenge you to make yourself smaller, to lose your lives so that you might save them, to give yourself to your neighbor with love and humility. To the class of 2024, I wish you luck and I wish you a meaningful life.”

Dr. James Moore, the 20th president of West Virginia Wesleyan College, congratulated the Class of 2024 on their accomplishments. He recalled the difficult decisions the College made throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and that the undergraduates started their College careers online in Fall 2020.

“In my darkest of days, I really did take a lot of strength from the courage that you as students were showing in the fall of 2020,” he said. “And then you came on to this campus in the Spring of 2021. It was just the most remarkable thing; we were all so happy to have you here. You have been resilient. You have shown tenacity. You are going to hear a lot more words like that today and we mean every bit of it.”

Delaney Gump ’24, of Weston, West Virginia, and president of the Class of 2024, presented Dr. Travis Zimmerman, assistant professor of criminal justice, with the Distinguished Faculty Award chosen by the Class of 2024.

The Class of 2024 chose the Center for Counseling and Well-Being as the recipient of their class gift.

“This gift this year was carefully throughout as we focused on the issues that were important to not only ourselves but the future health and well-being of the students after us,” Gump said. “Together, the Class of 2024 donated $5,350.80 to the Center for Counseling and Well-being here on campus.”

Participants in 133rd Commencement represent 18 states and seven countries with 63% from the Mountain State. These participants earned degrees from 33 bachelor’s programs, four master’s degree programs and the Doctor of Nursing Practice. The 10 most popular majors are nursing, business administration, criminal justice, exercise science, psychology, computer science, elementary education, health science, applied physics and environmental science.

First-generation college students made up 27% of the participants. Of those participating in the ceremony, 17% earned PROMISE Scholarships.

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