Graduation grins fill WCU’s Campus

Graduates gathered to receive their diplomas. Photo by: Julia Hudgins

Graduates gathered to receive their diplomas. Photo by: Julia Hudgins

Western Carolina University said hello to a new group of alumni as the senior class graduated Saturday, May 7 at 10 a.m. in the Ramsey center.

Ramsey was filled to bursting with faculty and staff, proud parents, family and close friends as they all gathered around the emerging graduates, who wore accomplished grins along with their graduation robes and brightly decorated caps.

“To be honest I was overwhelmed about how big the audience was…but we were all excited. We got to see each other one last time before we left campus…I’m excited about the journey out of the mountains but I won’t ever forget them,” said Tabitha Hill, a WCU graduate with a brand new bachelors degree in English.

Provost Alison Morrison Shetlar led the spring undergraduate commencement ceremony on behalf of Chancellor Belcher. Belcher could not attend the event as he is still recovering from a surgery that took place at the beginning of the week.

“[Belcher] may not be here in person, but he most certainly is here in spirit…in fact I would not be surprised if he was defied doctor’s orders and is watching the live stream footage [of the ceremony]” said Shetlar, and led the thousands who were present in wishing the chancellor a safe recovery.

This commencement was part of three separate ceremonies created to celebrate the 1,465 graduating seniors at WCU for 2016. There was a second undergraduate ceremony at Ramsey at 2 p.m. and the previous evening, Friday May 6, WCU’s graduate students received their diplomas.

Following the link below, you can view a photo story of the graduation with a focus on the many uniquely decorated graduation caps that students wore.