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Waynesburg University held its annual commencement exercises honoring approximately 525 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students Sunday, April 30.

Taylor Mae Garrett, a math (secondary education) major with a minor in Spanish from Aurora, Ohio, was named the valedictorian of her class. She is the daughter of Chris and Pamela Garrett.

“I was honored to have the opportunity to share a few words on how my experiences at Waynesburg shaped the way that I view the world and how I want to affect the world through my future actions,” said Garrett. “I hope I conveyed my appreciation and pride in this institution and in my fellow classmates.”

As a student, Garrett was the president of both the Waynesburg Outdoor Club and Venture Crew 1849. She was a member of EcoStewards and the Waynesburg Recycling Task Force, most recently serving as the director of recycling challenge.

Garrett was a Leadership Scholar and a member of both the Kappa Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honor Society and Kappa Delta Pi International Education Honor Society. As an incoming freshman, she was the recipient of the Jeffrey and Regina Taussig Ohio Honors Scholarship, a scholarship which honors an Ohio student who displays extraordinary academic, service and leadership skills and majors in the area of math or science.

“Waynesburg University has provided me with a myriad of incredible opportunities,” said Garrett. “The people that I have met along the way will continue to be the most important and meaningful part of my time at Waynesburg. The community at Waynesburg is what drew me to apply when I initially visited, and it is what I will most cherish about my time at Waynesburg.”

Upon graduating from Waynesburg, Garrett plans to take a gap year to serve in Albuquerque, New Mexico, through a program offered by the Presbyterian Church USA called Young Adult Volunteers.

“My hope and prayer is that through completing a program with an intentional focus on vocational discernment, I can better understand where God is calling me,” said Garrett. “I know that I want to teach, and I love teaching; however, I am not yet sure of where I want to teach and in what capacity.”

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724.852.7675 or

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Aradhna Oliphant and the Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Migliore were awarded honorary Doctor of Humane Letter degrees during Waynesburg University’s commencement exercises Sunday, April 30.

Oliphant is the President and CEO of Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. and Migliore is the Charles Hodge Professor Emeritus of Systemic Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. The degrees were conferred upon Oliphant and Migliore for the ways in which they parallel Waynesburg University’s mission of faith, learning and serving.

Members of the Waynesburg University Board of Trustees presented the recipients and assisted with investitures.

The following citations were read:

Aradhna Oliphant

Aradhna Malhotra Oliphant, for your wholly inspirational and innovative work ethic, as evidenced by a successful career in leadership development and a multitude of professional posts, Waynesburg honors you.

As you guide Leadership Pittsburgh Inc. as President and CEO, you inspire our region’s leaders to strive for excellence and to remain engaged in their communities and the world, encouraging countless individuals to pursue lives of purpose. 

Your unwavering drive for community building is reflected in your involvement with the academic, public policy, corporate and nonprofit sectors. Your demonstrated passion for community engagement and serving others mirrors the efforts of Waynesburg University to instill such admirable qualities in its students.

Recognized for your innovation and leadership as a Woman of Distinction by several area civic organizations and most recently in 2015 as one of the top twenty-five most influential people in the region by Pittsburgh Magazine, you are an inspiration to young women who wish to change the world.

Your ambition, influential career, and moral and business philosophies serve as examples to Waynesburg University students as they prepare to become the leaders of tomorrow. For that, we are pleased to recognize you.

In gratitude and respect for your achievements and for the ways in which you parallel Waynesburg University’s mission of faith, learning and serving, it is with great honor that we confer upon you our degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. 

Rev. Dr. Daniel L. Migliore

Rev. Daniel Migliore, in recognition of your distinguished career in theology education and the inspiration you have provided to a generation’s worth of leaders in religion, Waynesburg University honors you. 

A distinguished teacher, leader and reverend, your voice has influenced and motivated individuals throughout our nation. Your work has set you apart as an outstanding role model and inspirational leader in education and religion.

An accomplished author, you have introduced countless minds to Christian theology, and in doing so, you have inspired others to understand Christ’s love. Through your bestselling textbook, you have illuminated the minds of eager learners across the country. 

With more than four decades dedicated to educating and inspiring others, you are an inspiration to us. It is because of the meaningful and extensive impact you have made through your life’s work that we are pleased to recognize and honor you.

In sincere respect and admiration for your steadfast commitment to all those you so diligently serve and teach, and for the ways in which you share Waynesburg University’s mission of faith, learning and serving, it is with distinct honor that we confer upon you our degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations
724.852.7675 or

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b2ap3_thumbnail_4-27-Ohio-Honors.jpgWaynesburg University recently announced Kimberly Taylor of Rocky River, Ohio, as the 2017 Jeffrey and Regina Taussig Ohio Honors Scholarship recipient.

The scholarship is presented to one Ohio high school student interested in a career in mathematics or one of the sciences, and it pays the complete tuition and room and board for the student’s four years at Waynesburg University. More than $120,000 is awarded to each recipient over the course of a student’s four years at the University.

Eligible students must be an Ohio student, display extraordinary academic, service and leadership skills and major in the area of math or science.

Taylor’s exceptional 4.592 GPA and involvement in multiple community and school activities, events and groups make her a deserving recipient of the scholarship.

“It is a great honor to have been selected,” said Taylor. “I feel sure now that Waynesburg is the right choice for me. It was meant to be.”

The Rocky River High School senior is a member of the school’s National Honor Society and French National Honor Society chapters.

Taylor is involved in many of Rocky River’s music ensembles, such as choir, jazz ensemble, marching band, pep band, show choir and wind ensemble. She currently serves as the vice president of the band and a squad leader and section leader in marching band.

Additionally, Taylor often performs music at various community events. She is also president of the school’s drama club where she has performed in multiple plays and musicals.

Away from school, Taylor’s greatest joy is horseback riding. She currently serves as a riding instructor at a summer Christian Horse Camp at Marmon Valley Farm in Zanesfield, Ohio.

Receipt of the scholarship has validated Taylor’s choice to pursue a career in chemistry and made the ability of travel during college more of a reality.

“I can focus more on chemistry and building relationships in that field,” added Taylor. “It has also made a study abroad or mission trip opportunity more likely.”

Taylor plans to major in chemistry and pursue a career in forensic science.

She is the daughter of Kirk and Becky Taylor of Rocky River, Ohio.

Founded in 1849 by the Cumberland Presbyterian Church, Waynesburg University is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with three additional sites located in the Pittsburgh region. The University is a member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities (CCCU) and is one of only 21 Bonner Scholar schools in the country, offering local, regional and international opportunities to touch the lives of others through service.

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Ashley Wise, Associate Director of University Relations

724-852-7675 or

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Attention soon-to-be graduates: Congratulations! The day you have been anticipating is right around the corner.b2ap3_thumbnail_commencement.png

You have put a colossal number of hours into earning your degree, and your hard work will soon be rewarded. But before you can update your education status on Facebook and LinkedIn, here are a few (simple) tasks you need to complete that will help make the next few months go a little more smoothly:

1. Confirm with the Registrar’s Office that all your transcripts and payments are in order.

If you are graduating in May, you have already completed your Degree Audit and application for graduation. With that important step out of the way, contact the Office of the Registrar to ensure that all of your paperwork and payments are updated and complete. Those who work in the office are knowledgeable and excited to help you graduate – so contact them to double check everything! If you have any extra concerns about your eligibility, contact your adviser.

2. Order your graduation regalia and memorabilia.

This is probably the most exciting thing on this list because it is a tangible representation that graduation is fast-approaching! Visit the WU Bookstore to order memorabilia, and complete the Graduation Order and Attendance form to reserve your spot at Commencement and place your cap and gown order.

3. Undergraduates - schedule a senior exit interview.

This is a time for seniors to reflect on their experiences at Waynesburg and speak with a University representative about their future plans! Graduating seniors can provide feedback and schedule group or individual meeting times by completing the Graduation Interview survey here.

4. Don't forget your tickets!

All graduates, family and friends are welcome to attend the Commencement ceremony when held outside, but in the case of inclement weather, graduates attending the ceremony will receive two electronic tickets via email for the indoor ceremony. Don’t forget to have these tickets on hand in case of an inclement weather call! And don’t worry – even if the ceremony is moved inside, there are various viewing sites on campus for all guests. Graduates and their families are also invited to celebrate at the Graduate’s Luncheon on the day of Commencement. Tickets for this luncheon can be purchased here.

5. Connect with Alumni Relations!

Follow Waynesburg University Alumni on social media and stay connected with all things Waynesburg after you graduate. Visit Waynesburg United for more information.

For a complete list of items to check off the list before April 30, visit Enjoy the celebration of your success!

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Jenny Jellisonb2ap3_thumbnail_jellison2.png
Associate Professor of Psychology

For almost 13 years, Jenny has taught classes and advised psychology majors in what she describes as her "dream job." Her office can be found in 225 Buhl Hall, where she surrounds herself with things that make her smile, including graduation photos of some of her closest past students.

What’s your favorite fun fact about WU?

That we were one of the first colleges to have ever offered degrees to women. I’m very proud to work at a university with that kind of history.

What’s your favorite annual event?

I don’t know if this counts, but I love meeting the new freshmen on the Friday before classes start. Each of them is a potentially awesome new person that I could have in my life for at least the next 4yrs. My students make my job the joy that it is – they make me laugh every single day, they share their stories with me, and they challenge me. So, the new students to me are like new books I can’t wait to read. Plus, I assume they are nervous and overwhelmed by this new, big step, so I love making them smile and (hopefully) breathe a little easier.

What’s your most memorable WU moment?

When we became a university! I still have the t-shirt we got, and I remember gathering EVERYONE all around the front of Stover and taking the big, overhead picture. It was exciting to be a part of something so historical.

What makes WU a special place to work?

The love and respect we have for each other. Even when we don’t agree with each other, we are loving and respectful. Other workplaces – even other universities – have politics and backstabbing and people who treat each other badly. I can’t imagine how toxic that would be; WU has spoiled me. Here, we pray for each other and celebrate each other’s accomplishments. I feel supported. I also love that a large part of my job performance assessment is based on how well I serve the students. That was something I wanted in a full-time job from the beginning. At bigger universities, professors are often more concerned with getting published, and undergrads get shoved off to the side. Our students are the most important people on this campus, so I appreciate being at a university that agrees with me on that.

What do you consider the most special or unique part of your job?

I get to tell people all about the stuff I’m interested in, and they have to listen! Also, I literally shape lives. I get to help young people find their way in life, discover their strengths, and realize their passions. I think people sometimes underestimate how unfinished young adults are – they’re still so scared, insecure, and (sometimes) lost. I love being one of the people in their lives who calms them down, lifts them up, and helps them figure it all out.

For more information on the Psychology program at Waynesburg University, click here!

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