Approximately 350 new students at West Virginia University at Parkersburg attended the college’s annual convocation on Tuesday, Aug. 22. The keynote speaker was WVU alumni, Dr. Brian J. Anderson.
Dr. Anderson is the GE Plastics materials engineering professor in chemical engineering at West Virginia University (WVU) and has been a faculty member since 2006. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering in 2000 at WVU and his M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2004 and 2005. In 2011, he and several colleagues co-founded the National Geothermal Academy, and he was awarded the 2012 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.
“As you embark on this journey, enter these classes, work hard, learn to learn, learn to communicate, learn to be adaptable, and learn what you love,” Anderson said in his speech. “If you follow your dreams by learning what you love, and constantly be a student in your daily life, you never know where this life is going to take you.”
Anderson’s father was the first in his family to graduate from college. He attended Parkersburg Community College, which later became WVU Parkersburg.
“It’s really exciting that you’ve taken a first step in coming here to continue your education, to create a future for yourself.” Said Anderson, “Good luck on your future career, which you are embarking upon here, today.”
The college holds a convocation at the beginning of each academic year to welcome new students to the community of scholars and to reaffirm WVU Parkersburg’s continued commitment to its values. Each ceremony includes a formal procession of the faculty in academic regalia and a ringing of the College Bell by faculty marshals.
This year’s convocation also included greetings from WVU Parkersburg President Dr. Fletcher Lamkin, Board of Governors Chair Sam Winans, Vice President for Academic Affairs Dr. Chad Crumbaker, and Student Government President Austin Grimmett. President Lamkin closed the ceremony with words of encouragement for students.
“Don’t be confused about your future, dream big and set lofty goals,” said Lamkin. “We will help you build your dreams, establish your goals, and provide you opportunities to develop the skills, knowledge, and character that will help you fulfill the bright promise of your life.”