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WVU Parkersburg hosts 53rd annual spring commencement   

WVU Parkersburg hosts 53rd annual spring commencement   

 Parkersburg, W.Va. (May 16, 2024) — WVU Parkersburg hosted its 53rd annual spring commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 11, with Jerry Edmonds III, vice president of Workforce & Community Engagement at Vance-Granville Community College, as the keynote speaker.

Edmonds reflected on life decisions and applauded the spring class of 2024 on their courageousness and their journey through college.

“You are better prepared today than you were during your high school graduation, so there for you’re on track. Despite the challenges encountered along the way you’re on track,” Edmonds said. “Attainment of a college degree positions you for a higher impact and higher wages. You now have the opportunity to earn more and do more good for your community and indeed the world.”

Prior to his current role, Edmonds held a variety of executive leadership positions within Johnson & Johnson and IBM, where he was the recipient of numerous training, recruitment, marketing and leadership awards. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration with an emphasis on Marketing, from Marshall University in 1985 and his Masters of Science with an emphasis on Human Service Management from Springfield College in 2001. He earned his doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership from Edgewood College in 2020. He and his wife, Dor’cel, own and operate Willow Creek Tennis Retreat, LLC in Wisconsin. They are proud parents of two adult children and five grandchildren.

WVU Parkersburg President Dr. Torie Jackson also congratulated the graduating class, reminding them that the institution is a beacon of support for its students.

“Today we hope that you (students) now realize you have a support system beyond that of your family and friends. We believe in you and today we all celebrate success with you,” Jackson said.

One hundred fifty-six graduates crossed the stage, with a total of 369 students earning certificate, associate, and bachelor’s degrees, pending final grades. The college also presented recognition awards and honorary degrees to exceptional members of the campus and surrounding community, including:

  • Honorary degree recipients: Lee Eric Rector, owner and general manager of the Blennerhassett Hotel; and Steve Hardman, former Board of Governors chair and attorney at Bowles Rice.
  • Emeritus Status recipients: Pat Harris, office administrator; Kurt Klettner, executive director for Student Support Services; Joyce Stover, professor of Humanities; Dr. Missy Spivy, professor of Education; and Rebecca Tucker, professor of Biological Sciences.

Also, during the commencement, WVU Parkersburg recognized Holly Martin, associate professor of Biology, as the Bernard P. McDonough Outstanding Faculty Member of the Year. Martin works well with faculty, empathizes with students, demands high standards and is an advocate for students, faculty and staff. She serves on Faculty Senate and has led efforts to create a new evaluation tool for faculty.

“Because we know Holly’s significant contribution to the students, the institution and the profession, we are convinced that she deserves this honor,” Jackson said.