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WVSU commencement set for Saturday, Dec. 15

Dec. 14, 2012 @ 10:49 AM

INSTITUTE, W.Va. — West Virginia State University will have commencement ceremonies for a total of about 150 graduates on Saturday, Dec. 15.

According to a news release, this is the first time in 20 years that WVSU has had graduation at the Institute campus; previous ceremonies have been at the Charleston Civic Center.

The first ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. and will be for students graduating from the College of Professional Studies, the largest of the four colleges that make up WVSU.

The second ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. and will be for students graduating from the College of Arts and Humanities, the College of Business and Social Sciences and the College of Natural Science and Mathematics.

Both commencements will take place in the P. Ahmed Williams Auditorium, which is located on the second floor of Ferrell Hall.

Dr. Lawrence Crawford, a highly successful entrepreneur and dentist, will be the commencement speaker at both ceremonies. Crawford is currently the chairman and CEO of Diversity-Vuteq LLC, a supplier of molded plastic parts and assemblies for the automotive industry. Diversity-Vuteq LLC is an international joint venture between Crawford and Vuteq, a major Japanese automotive parts supplier that supports Toyota operations in Indiana and Mississippi.

Crawford is also the co-founder of VITEC-USA, a supplier of plastic fuel tanks and systems to the automotive industry. VITEC was the first major manufacturing business in the Detroit Empowerment Zone and records annual sales of more than $150 million.

Crawford is also the chairman of the Booker T. Washington Association of Detroit, and of Real Times Media Inc., the parent organization of numerous publications, including The Chicago Defender, The Pittsburgh Courier, The Michigan Chronicle and The Michigan Front Page.

A graduate of the University of Michigan School of Dentistry, Crawford practiced dentistry in his hometown of Saginaw, Mich., for many years. In 1982, he was elected mayor of his hometown and served two terms in office.

He has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including the Michigan Dental Association Dentist Citizen of the Year, Chamber of Commerce Brick Award, Frontier’s Businessman of the Year Award, the Alpha Phi Alpha Community Service Award, the Zeta Beta Professional Achievement Award and the Saginaw High School Distinguished Alumnus Award.

In addition to Crawford, WVSU President Brian O. Hemphill will also speak at both commencement ceremonies.

WVSU Board of Governors Chairman Larry L. Rowe will provide greetings for both ceremonies, and Dr. R. Charles Byers, WVSU provost and vice president for academic affairs, will provide closing remarks.

The Yellow Jacket Battalion Color Guard will post colors for both ceremonies, while the WVSU Brass Ensemble under the direction of Scott Woodard will provide the musical prelude.

Two honorary doctorate degrees will also be awarded on Saturday, one during the 10 a.m. commencement, and one during the 2 p.m. ceremony.

WVSU holds commencements in December and May of each year. The December commencement recognizes those students from both the summer and fall semesters who have completed the requirements for their degrees.