(WVWC Photo)

West Virginia Wesleyan College celebrates ‘resilient’ Class of 2023 with 132nd Commencement Ceremony

BUCKHANNON, West Virginia –  The West Virginia Wesleyan College Class of 2023 joined the Orange Line Saturday during the 132nd Commencement Ceremony that celebrated their perseverance and resilience.

President James Moore encouraged graduates to continue to pursue truth and knowledge, learn from mistakes, but find joy in the journey.

“You are about to embark on a journey – the next chapter of your life; a journey of unknown possibilities,” Moore said.  “Find the joy in as many things as you possibly can. Never miss an opportunity to celebrate a win for yourselves, for your friends and family. Learn from your failures as you have during your time here. Remember what you have learned. There is a great big world out there that needs you. It is a world that is waiting for you. Never lose the joy.”

Caroline Rapking ’79, outgoing chair of the board of trustees, led the trustees during the Covid-19 pandemic that sent the Class of 2023 (and all students) home in mid-March 2015. Rapking spoke of the class’s adaption to online Zoom and Google Meet for classes and clubs and the return to on-campus life in Spring 2021 with Covid-19 protocols in place.

“After months of separation, the Community had to adjust to being together in person after so many months of a lot more solitary existence,” Rapking said. “I know that as students you were happy to be back, and you began to stitch your Community and the Wesleyan Community back together. Resilience, collaboration, and creativity were at the forefront.”

The Class of 2023 continued to be resilient throughout their College experiences.

(WVWC Photo)

“You persisted, you adapted, and you will now take these life experiences as you move forward, and may even, someday, be grateful for them,” Rapking said.

Rapking received an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters during the ceremony.

Caroline Fulks ‘23, president of the Senior Class, presented Dr. Tamara Bailey, professor of history and international studies, with the Outstanding Faculty award voted on by the class.

Fulks asked her fellow graduates to remember their tight-knit connections made at the College.

“Wesleyan has given us the tools to make this memory and it is our job now to keep them alive,” she said. “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for giving me this life-changing experience. Wesleyan will forever be my Home Among the Hills.”

Tara Steed ’87, president of the Alumni Council, said, “You have a lifelong bond to your Home Among the Hills. You may leave this place, but this place will never leave you.”

She encouraged the graduates to wear the title of alumni as a badge of honor and to find ways to give back to the College.

“We are the Orange Line,” she said. “Congratulations.”

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