WCU graduation

A graduating student receives her diploma from WCU Interim Chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar. WCU is graduating its largest class ever, and enrollment is predicted to increase in the years to come.

After grades from final exams are tallied and academic records finalized, Western Carolina University’s spring class, including recipients of both undergraduate and graduate degrees, is expected to total more than 1,650 graduates, which would be the largest class in university history and WCU’s eighth-straight record spring class.

About 1,500 graduating students were expected to participate in the events at the Ramsey Center as their families and friends looked on during a trio of commencement exercises Friday and Saturday, May 10 and 11.

Commencement for WCU’s Graduate School was held Friday. Saturday included a morning ceremony for the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Allied Professions, and Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts, followed by an afternoon commencement for the colleges of Business, Health and Human Sciences, and Engineering and Technology.

All three ceremonies were presided over by WCU Interim Chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar, with Acting Provost Carol Burton presenting candidates for degrees.

All three commencements included remarks by Ed Holland, president of the WCU Alumni Association, and special recognition for members of the graduating class who are active duty members of the military, veterans or members of the National Guard and Reserves.

Morrison-Shetlar delivered the charge to the graduating students at the three ceremonies. She congratulated them on doing the hard work it took to earn their degrees and said it is now up to them to create the world in which they wish to live.

“Graduates, each of you have worked diligently, passionately and tirelessly, earning the distinct privilege to be seated before us today,” Morrison-Shetlar said. “You have believed in your dreams. You have set sights on your goals. You have completed all the difficult and necessary tasks to reach this day, a day that represents one of the most significant milestones in your lifetime – a milestone that makes possible a future of unlimited possibilities.”