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Waynesburg U. graduates Class of 2024

May 5, 2024

Waynesburg University held its Commencement Exercises during its milestone 175th anniversary year on Sunday, May 5, on the Lawn of Miller Hall, honoring more than 350 undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students.

John Montgomery, President and CEO of Community Bank, addressed the Class of 2024 as the Commencement speaker, and Rev. Dr. Edward Glover, founder of Urban Impact and Associate Preacher at Christ Church at Grove Farm in Sewickley, served as the Baccalaureate speaker.

During the Commencement Address, Montgomery reflected on challenges he has overcome during his lifetime, encouraging the Class of 2024 to fail big and forgive fast.

“There are several [lessons] that I want to focus on today,” said Montgomery. “The first is not being afraid to fail and make mistakes. The second is the power of forgiveness. I consider these qualities lubrication to life’s gears.”

My belief is that overcoming the fear of making mistakes and failure along with the ability to forgive makes our life run smoother and protects our gears from grinding to a stop."

John Montgomery

Montgomery shared that, with faith as his foundation, he became comfortable stretching for the seemingly unachievable.

“My belief is that overcoming the fear of making mistakes and failure along with the ability to forgive makes our life run smoother and protects our gears from grinding to a stop,” said Montgomery.

Montgomery and Glover were awarded honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees during the Commencement ceremony.

Also during the ceremony, Tyler O’Quinn and Brandon Thomas were commissioned as Second Lieutenants in the United States Army. 2LT O’Quinn will serve Active Duty in the Armor Corps, and 2LT Thomas will serve in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, Field Artillery Corps.

Gabrielle Michele Reifsnyder, an early childhood education and special education major from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, was named the valedictorian and delivered the valedictory to the University.

In addition, Grace Ingram, a criminal justice administration major from Valencia, Pennsylvania, was awarded the 2024 Douglas G. and Kathryn D. Lee Servant Leadership Award. 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 is 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.

During the Baccalaureate ceremony, the focus of Rev. Glover’s sermon, “Created for a Purpose,” was Ephesians 2:10.

“God created you,” said Rev. Glover. “And He created you for a purpose. He not only created you, but He chose you, He chose you for such a time as this, to be alive in this generation.”

“What all of us are called to do, first and foremost, is to know God,” he said. “And then to make Him known.”

About Waynesburg University 

Consistently ranked a best value school, Waynesburg University’s Strategy for the 21st Century affirms its commitment to developing an entrepreneurial mindset and ethical leadership skills for all students. Rooted in its mission of faith, learning and service, the private, Christian university is located on a traditional campus in the hills of southwestern Pennsylvania, with an additional site for graduate and professional programs in Southpointe.