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Over 200 students graduate from William Woods

by Anakin Bush | May 1, 2023 at 4:01 a.m.
Photo courtesy William Woods University: William Woods University Provost Aimee Sapp (left) and President Jeremy Moreland (right) present commencement speaker Byron Bagby with an honorary doctorate degree. Bagby is a retired Major General in the U.S. Army and graduate of Westminster College.

Undergraduate and graduate students at William Woods University took part in commencement on Saturday, marking the end of WWU's academic year.

The first ceremony of the day was for undergraduate students, with the graduate student ceremony following in the afternoon.

113 students took part in the undergraduate ceremony. 108 took part in the graduate ceremony.

The commencement speaker for both ceremonies was Byron Bagby, retired Major General in the U.S. Army. Bagby is from Fulton, and earned his bachelor of arts degree in economics from Westminster College. He earned his master's in education in higher education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Bagby is also a member of WWU's Board of Trustees.

In his address, Bagby began by sharing some advice his daughter gave him as he was preparing for his speech.

"'Dad, whatever you speak about, keep it short. Don't talk for a long time," he said.

He shared an acronym with the graduates to keep in mind as they enter the next phase of their lives. He shared the acronym "grace."

Grace stands for gratitude, resilience, attitude, common sense and endurance.

"...I ask you to do two things. Be yourself and make a difference in the world. As you go through the different phases of your life from now forward, think of the acronym grace," Bagby said.

After his speech during the undergraduate ceremony, Bagby was awarded an honorary WWU degree.

An honorary doctorate degree was given to Bagby by WWU president Jeremy Moreland and provost Aimee Sapp.

After the graduates moved their tassels over, Tony Andenoro officially welcomed them as alumni.

The official alumni association oath was read by Pat O'Rourke, who graduated from WWU in 1952.

"Pat, at 90 years young, I can't think of a more inspirational role model for these dynamic graduates," Andenoro said.

  photo  Anakin Bush/Fulton Sun William Woods University undergraduate students move their tassels over at the end of the ceremony. 113 students took part in the undergraduate ceremony, and 108 took part in the graduate ceremony.

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