For The Register-Herald
A little rain didn’t dampen the spirits of graduates and their families on the campus beautiful Saturday when diplomas were conferred upon more than 200 students in two separate ceremonies.
The 138th class of the university accepted their diplomas during two separate ceremonies in the main gym of the Leslie R. and Ruby Webb Carter Center. Students and their families gathered in the gym at 10 a.m. to celebrate the graduation of business, education and fine arts programs while the 2 p.m. ceremony honored graduates of the school’s languages and literature, science, mathematics, health, social sciences, interdisciplinary and Regents programs.
The commencement ceremony was the last for Concord University President Dr. Gregory F. Aloia who announced in April he would be leaving the university on June 30 for a position at the College of Coastal Georgia in Brunswick, Ga.
“We’re going down this road together,” Aloia said. “We have a lot to be proud of. We have a bond in Concord University and it will stay with us forever. Reflect on your knowledge, cherish it. Congratulations on your accomplishment. After you receive your degree allow me the honor to look you in the eye and say thank you for coming to Concord. I wish you godspeed”
Concord’s Veteran’s Club honored Aloia for his contributions to the university during the ceremony. Members of the CU Veteran’s Club David Moore and Scott Noble made the presentations to Aloia. Noble made his presentation at the morning ceremony while Moore made a similar one at the afternoon ceremony.
Sarah Dalton, a spokesperson with Concord, said 40 graduate students and 237 undergraduate candidates received diplomas with 98 of the school’s students graduating with honors.
Concord’s valedictorians for the spring 2013 class were Elizabeth Brundage, a geography major originally from Colorado and now living Princeton, and Rebecca Creel, a biology pre-professional major from Procious.
Brundage was also the youngest graduate at Concord at the age of 19.
“I have enjoyed all of my time studying at Concord University and graduating is exciting,” Brundage said. “I’m grateful to my family for always supporting me through college, and encouraging me to work hard. After graduation I plan on working and pursuing my master’s in business administration.”
Creel said she will be furthering her studies at Marshall University.
“The fact that I am a biology major valedictorian of my college graduation class is proof that I really can do whatever I set my mind to,” Creel said. “My plans after graduation are to go to Marshall Medical School, where I recently received a scholarship to cover my four years of tuition, and become an OB/GYN one day.”
Dalton said the 138th graduating class included students from West Virginia, Virginia, California, Delaware, Maryland, Nevada, Florida, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Arizona as well as international students from South Africa, Vietnam, China, Canada, Japan, Nepal, Turkey and Serbia. Dalton said nine of the graduates are veterans.
— Kate Coil is a writer for The Bluefield Daily Telegraph