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Congratulations to December Graduates

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Recognition ceremony welcomes 37 graduates as new Marlin alumni

December Graduates 2016 Featured News | December 13, 2016

By Laynee H. Timlin

Thirty-seven students were recognized at the December Graduates' Recognition Ceremony and Reception on December 11 for completing all requirements for earning their degrees. The event, held in the Jane P. Batten Student Center, brought together the new graduates, their families and friends, faculty and other distinguished guests to pay tribute to their achievements.

President Scott D. Miller welcomed attendees and congratulated the graduates. He shared gratitude for those who have supported the graduates' efforts during the last four years and acknowledged the dedicated Virginia Wesleyan faculty for their skilled teaching, advising and mentoring, which provided invaluable guidance in helping the students to achieve their educational goals and reach this incredible milestone.

"I look forward to hearing about these graduates' many accomplishments and the great ways they will make a positive impact on the world," said Miller.

William McConnell, VWC Assistant Professor of Education and the recipient of  the 2016 Samuel Nelson Gray Distinguished Teaching Award, served as the keynote speaker for the event. McConnell reflected on lessons learned in his years as an educator. A former elementary school teacher, he shared inspiration from children's literature along with his own reflections from personal experiences with the graduates.

"Committing to the journey, being skeptical and responsive, and being a life-long learner will lead you to success. But also remember the dedication and love of your support system—your faith, family, friends, teachers, coaches—those who have done so much to get you here. No matter how successful, how important your job is, how busy you are, make time to go and see those that love and support you. Because it is really hard to feel success in isolation."

Following the individual recognition of each graduate, VWC Alumni Council President Mavis McKenley '11,  addressed the newest members of the VWC alumni association, inviting them to pursue their lives and careers in a spirit of service, leadership, and contributions of many kinds. She encouraged them to stay connected to their alma mater as they join the ranks of more than 9,000 Virginia Wesleyan alumni.

The event concluded with Mary Kurzenknabe '17 leading the singing of the Virginia Wesleyan Alma Mater, accompanied by Ajee Church '16 on the piano. A reception followed the ceremony. December graduates are eligible to participate in VWC's 48th formal Commencement Ceremony on May 20, 2017.

Congratulations to these December Graduates:

Bachelor of Arts
Reid Bowman (Business)
Samantha Bowman (Environmental Science)
Eveline Bruce (Business)
Mary Connell (Comprehensive Liberal Studies)
Marco DaSilva (English)
Kristen Ellis (English)
Donna Floyd (Business)
Vona Goodpaster (Comprehensive Liberal Studies)
Brianna Graham (Women’s and Gender Studies and Psychology)
Jack Hamer (Recreation and Leisure Studies)
Ericka Hayes (Earth and Environmental Science)
Aimee Haywood (History and Social Science)
Ebony Hebb (Business)
Alese Herbert (Biology)
Jason Hoernke (Criminal Justice)
Kevin Hu (Computer Science)
Tracy Hudson (Business)
Rebecca Lazzeri (English and Religious Studies)
Whitney Leliefeld (Sociology)
Matthew Murray (Criminal Justice)
Nicole Nedwick (Business)
Renee Pucky (German Studies)
Christina Raab (Psychology)
Alyssa Russ (Classical Studies)
Stephen Sawicki (Business)
Jessica Seymour (Psychology and Mathematics)
Ashley Shipman (Business and Theatre)
Stephen Soltesz (Business)
Jessica Spaulding (Criminal Justice)
Michael Springer (Art)
Jessica Traynor (Business)
Deric Trimmer (Business)
Collette Vauthier (Latin)
William Virgili (Criminal Justice and Psychology)

Bachelor of Science
Catherine Clegg (Biology)
Anthony Wiggins (Mathematics)
Paulmichael Youngmills (Computer Science)

View a photo gallery of the December Graduates’ Recognition Ceremony and Reception on the VWC Flickr Page.