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Students face new future at OUS graduation

Jun. 09, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

IRONTON -- When the diplomas were tallied Friday night at Ohio University Southern Campus, approximately 344 graduates left the campus with an associate's or bachelor's degree, or both.

That's according to Bill Willan, dean of the school, who was celebrating another graduation, which marked the last one the school would experience under a quarterly schedule. The school will switch to a semester system next year.

Regardless of the schedule, Willan said there's no taking away the excitement of graduation day.

"This is the most fun day of the year without a doubt," Willan said. "There are so many smiles, so much promise and so much pride from family members and the students for their accomplishments. It's almost impossible to come to graduation and not feel good."

Heather Bailey, of Ironton, earned her associate's degree Friday night, and she said she was eager to walk across the stage to both celebrate her accomplishment and to send a message to her young son.

"I hope he sees that even when you grow up, and after you graduate from high school, there's still so much more you can accomplish for yourself and your future," Bailey said. "I'm excited for him to see this."

Now, more than ever, Willan said it's important for anyone and everyone to take the opportunity to further their education at the first chance they get.

"It enables those who experience it to have a richer experience of culture in the community that surrounds them, and it gives them a richer internal life as well," Willan said. "Of course, there are benefits to their economic well being, but that means they are allowed more opportunities because of their college experience."

The students weren't the only people who were honored during the ceremony. Three OU Southern professors were recognized during the ceremony.

Miki Crawford was promoted to a full professor, and Nicole Pennington was named the RHE Outstanding Professor and promoted to associate professor.

For more information about Ohio University Southern Campus, visit www.southern.ohiou.edu.

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