Silver City, NM- On Friday, May 12, the WNMU Class of 2017 walked. For some it was simply the next step of their careers, with plans to pursue a Master’s degree or further certification. For others, it is the culmination of a years-long journey filled with laughter, tears, long stressful study sessions and wild Great Race parties. There’s a sense of finality that comes with Spring commencement that the other graduation ceremonies just don’t seem to share. Perhaps it simply comes with the end of the academic year.
The day kicked off bright and early with the honors breakfast, in which students from all across the globe were awarded for their academic excellence. Among the departments recognized were the Schools of Business, Education and Social Work, the Departments of Humanities and Math, and the Occupational Therapy Program. Upon being called up to receive a certificate and a medallion for their excellence, many students gave credit to both the love and support or their family and to their faith in a higher power for getting them through college.
The actual commencement kicked off at 3:00pm. After graduating senior Jazmin Hernandez kicked things off with her rendition of the National Anthem, the ceremony proceeded with an address from the keynote speaker, Cody Willard, who’s had a vast career working in media. This was followed by the speech from former President of the Associated Students Claudia Osuna Ochoa, Dr. Jennifer Coleman receiving the Professor of the Year award and the presentation of the Excellence in Professional Service and Excellence in Teaching Awards. Finally, Language Institute Director Manuel Rodriguez read off the names of the graduates.
Approximately 400 people walked in their caps and gowns, receiving Master’s, Bachelor’s, and Associates Degrees as well as Certificates and GEDs, with the ceremony finally reaching it’s conclusion at 5:30pm. The Class of 2017 then walked one more time before joining their families out on the green.