Waynesburg University honored the Class of 2021 during in-person commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 1, and Sunday, May 2, on the Lawn of Miller Hall, honoring more than 400 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.
Four ceremonies were held over the two days in order to comply with state and federal guidelines. All four ceremonies were also live-streamed, and graduates were given the option to participate virtually if they were unable to attend in person. Virtual participants were honored at the in-person ceremony with their name announced and their photo showed on a large outdoor screen.
Lance Hyde, the Director of Global Inclusion and Diversity at Koppers, delivered the Commencement Address at the Graduate and Professional Studies ceremony on Saturday, and Rev. James Tinnemeyer, Senior Pastor at Southminster Presbyterian Church, delivered the Commencement Address at the three undergraduate ceremonies on Sunday.
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"Every bit of your learning and serving and doing here has been tied together with that common thread of preparing you for that divine calling of leading a life of purpose for the glory of God."
Rev. Jim Tinnemeyer, senior pastor, Southminster Presbyterian Church
"I encourage you to do whatever you can to create hope for those who are less fortunate. If each of you can just impact one person...just imagine what impact that would make."
Lance Hyde, director of Global Inclusion and Diversity, Koppers
"Reaching this milestone and being here together today is a testament to our grit, even in times of uncertainty."
2021 valedictorian speech
"It's not about what you have, it's about what you do with what you have."
Dr. Vanessa Milagros-Guillen, 2021 graduate program representative
The following graduates were named valedictorians:
- Carly Breach, a math (secondary education) graduate from Madras, Oregon
- Bailey Holt, a history (secondary education) graduate from Smithfield, Pennsylvania
- Joshua Miller, a forensic accounting graduate from Reedsville, West Virginia
- Casidee Millero, a nursing graduate from Greensville, Pennsylvania
- Aaron Sielski, a criminal justice administration graduate from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania
Miller, Millero and Sielski addressed the Class of 2021 at their respective ceremonies on Sunday
"The future is brighter because Waynesburg University’s Class of 2021 can forever share with future generations its experience, wisdom and spirit of perseverance," they each shared.
Commission and Oath of Office
Graduates Nathan Jecelin of Baltimore, Maryland, and Cullen McElligott of Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, were commissioned Second Lieutenants in the Army of the United States of America during the 10 a.m. ceremony on Sunday. They were pinned by members of their families.
Douglas G. and Kathryn D. Lee Servant Leadership Award
Isaiah Skeete, a criminal justice administration graduate from Sinking Spring, Pa., was awarded the inaugural Douglas G. and Kathryn D. Lee Servant Leadership Endowed Award during the 4 p.m. ceremony on Sunday. This award was established by the Waynesburg University Board of Trustees to honor the leadership and commitment of Douglas and Kathryn Lee to the University. It will be awarded each year to one graduating student who has demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities over the course of their time at Waynesburg University in the mission focus areas of faith, learning and serving.
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View our photo albums from the various Commencement ceremonies.
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Relive some of the best moments from the weekend!