Western Carolina University Chancellor Kelli R. Brown will preside over her first two commencements since becoming WCU’s chief executive officer as a pair of fall semester ceremonies are held Saturday, Dec. 14, in Ramsey Regional Activity Center.
Brown will deliver her charge to WCU’s fall graduating class and a group of newly minted alumni who were awarded degrees after this year’s summer school sessions.
Commencement for undergraduate and graduate students from the College of Arts and Sciences, College of Education and Allied Professions, and Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts will begin at 10 a.m. That will be followed by a 3 p.m. ceremony for undergraduate and graduate students from the colleges of Business, Health and Human Sciences, and Engineering and Technology. Both events are open to everyone, with no tickets required for admission.
Brown, who officially began her duties at WCU on July 1, said she is looking forward to the commencements with high anticipation and enjoys the celebratory nature of the events, with the graduating students and their families and friends joining with university faculty and staff in ceremonies packed with meaning and reflection.
“There is no day more special and important for a university community than commencement day,” Brown said. “I love the electricity in the air and seeing the joy and excitement on the faces of the graduating students and their loved ones. When the graduates come up on stage to get their diplomas, the thought in your mind has to be, ‘This is what it’s all about.’”
WCU’s fall class includes about 800 students who currently are working on final academic requirements to receive their degrees and who qualify to participate in the ceremony. A group of 220 WCU graduates who completed degree requirements during summer school and who already have been conferred degrees also are eligible to don caps and gowns for the events.
A graduating student will deliver the primary address at each commencement. Mary Hill Lewis, a distance student who has been majoring in birth-to-kindergarten education, will speak at the morning ceremony while Lindsey “Ellie” McIntosh, a distance student in WCU’s master’s degree program in entrepreneurship, will provide remarks for the afternoon event.
Individuals attending the commencements should enter the Ramsey Center through the upper concourse doors. Those with physical disabilities should use the northeastern upper entrance, adjacent to the stands of E.J. Whitmire Stadium.
For those who cannot attend, the ceremonies will be streamed live at commencement.wcu.edu.
For more information about the two commencements, contact the WCU Registrar’s Office at 828-227-7216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.