WVU kicks off commencement weekend

Published: May. 12, 2023 at 9:22 PM EDT
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MORGANTOWN, W.Va (WDTV) - For the first time since COVID-19, West Virginia University celebrates commencement weekend without restrictions.

At 4:00 p.m. on Friday at the Canady Creative Arts Center, Public Health students walked the stage as the school’s 10th graduating class.

Interim Dean of the School of Public Health Erik Carlton said Public Health went from being a single program in the School of Medicine to several Bachelors, Masters and PHD programs.

“This is the culmination of everything they’ve been working for. The reason why we do it. To be able to celebrate with them and wait for the inevitable airhorn that some brother has snuck in and see all their smiles,” Carlton said.

One of the 2023 graduates, Amara Garity, added she was glad to have made it to graduation day.

“It is such a bitter sweet moment. I have loved every minute of my time here at WVU, and it feels like it’s gone by so fast. I’ve shed a lot of tears this week. Happy tears. Sad tears. But I’m just so happy to be here,” she said.

Garity explained that in her time at WVU she’s had the opportunity to learn and build connections that she felt she wouldn’t get anywhere else.

“I have learned so many things, but the biggest thing that I’ve learned is that like working together. It is just the best way to get things done. Being here has created such a family environment for me that I feel is unmatched,” she added.

Garity said she was planning to take her background in public health and safety to the skies as a flight attendant.

The guest speaker for the school’s commencement was Dr. Georges C. Benjamin, the Executive Director of American Public Health Association.