MU awards 1,500 degrees
HUNTINGTON — About 700 students participated in Marshall University’s two commencement programs Saturday, and the applause from the crowd of family and friends at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena gave new meaning to the nickname “Thundering Herd.”
About 1,500 students will graduate this month, and the number of students who walked across the stage during Saturday’s 177th Commencement Program was the most the university has ever had for the ceremony, Registrar Roberta Ferguson said in a release. For the third year, the event was broken into morning and afternoon programs, one for undergraduates and another for graduate students.
Those receiving degrees this spring include 1,039 undergraduates, 426 graduate students and 63 from the School of Medicine.
The keynote speaker for the undergraduate ceremony was Kenova native and President and Chief Executive Officer of Intuit Inc. Brad Smith. The Marshall graduate shared many personal and professional stories with those preparing to take the next step in their lives, but there were two principals he kept coming back to.
“During my time at Marshall I learned a lot of valuable lessons, but there are two that have stuck with me throughout my life — teamwork and perseverance,” Smith said. “At Marshall we don’t say ‘I am Marshall,’ we say ‘We are Marshall.’ Marshall is more than just a learning institution, Marshall has heart. Marshall is a reflection of our community, a reflection of our past and a reflection of our future.”
In an effort to impress upon those awaiting their turn on the stage of the role Marshall has played in his life, Smith shared that not only does he have a small stuffed Marco on his desk out in California, but that his brothers, his uncles, his aunts, his niece, his nephew and all his cousins are also Marshall graduates.
Father and son
Scott and Ben Miller understand the value Marshall can have on family, too. The father/son duo walked across the stage together as graduate candidates for master of arts in leadership studies.
“For me it’s been 31 years between degrees,” Scott said. “When Ben started back to grad school, I said I wanted to finally finish mine. I’ve attempted it before, but family and work came first.”
But with his son often sitting next to him, family helped him get through it this time. Ben said having his dad in school helped him, too, and a friendly competition helped drive them both.
“We were trying to see who could do better, and ended up both graduating with the same GPA,” Ben said. “We definitely were there for each other.”
Ben also recently became 2nd Lt. Miller, after going through Marshall’s Army ROTC program. He will travel to Fort Benning, Ga., soon to begin the next stage of his military career. His dad is not joining him this time however, Scott is staying in Huntington to continue his role as vice president of development for The Marshall University Foundation.
To close out his address, Smith called for all graduates to continue making choices that make their lives better. He called for those in attendance to never forget they are the hopes of a nation, the dreams of their parents and sons and daughters of Marshall.
More than 400 students graduated with honors, including 72 summa cum laude (3.85 to 4.0 GPA), 138 magna cum laude (3.6 to 3.84 GPA), and 216 cum laude (3.3 to 3.59 GPA).
Nineteen students completed their baccalaureate degrees with perfect grade point averages. They include Brittanee Lynn Barton of Dublin, Ohio, BA in broadcast journalism, College of Arts and Media; Cailin Marie Chatterton of Huntington, BSN in Nursing, College of Health Professions; Cadara Jo Cole, BA in Elementary Education, College of Education; Elizabeth Danishanko of Ravenswood, W.Va., BA in Spanish and International Affairs, College of Liberal Arts; Rachael Julia Hager of Hamlin, W.Va., BS in Cellular Molecular Medical Biology, College of Science; Kelsi L. Halbert of Washington, W.Va., BBA in Accounting and Applied Mathematics, College of Business.
Betsy Haugh of Earlysville, Va., BA in Sports Management and Marketing, College of Health Professions; Michelle D. Hogmire of Gerrardstown, W.Va., BA in English, College of Liberal Arts; Amy Lynn Holly of Fayeteville, W.Va., BBA in Accounting, College of Business; Rebecca Hovemeyer of Huntington, BS in Computer and Information Technology and Applied Mathematics, College of Science; Randy Dean Jackson of Gallipolis, Ohio, BSN in Nursing, College of Health Professions; Savannah L. Keller of Seville, Ohio, BA in International Affairs and Economics, College of Liberal Arts.
Alexis Leigh Kessel of Ripley, W.Va., BA in English, College of Liberal Arts; Lindsey Janelle Miller of Crown City, Ohio, BS in Communication Disorders, College of Health Professions; Molly Miloscia of Stow, Ohio, BA in Advertising, College of Arts and Media; Chelsea M. Nichols of St. Albans, W.Va., BA in Political Science and History, College of Liberal Arts; Taylor Scott Ross of Kenova, W.Va., BSE in Engineering, College of Information Technology and Engineering; Karey Mariah Waller of Fort Gay, W.Va., BSN in Nursing, College of Health Professions; Christian Nathaniel Warner of Ironton, Ohio, BS in Chemistry and Cellular Molecular Medical Biology, College of Science.
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