Waynesburg University honored the Class of 2020 during four in-person commencement ceremonies Saturday, Aug. 1, and Sunday, Aug. 2, on the lawn of Miller Hall.

Two ceremonies were hosted each day in order to comply with state and CDC guidelines for events.

All four ceremonies were also live-streamed, and graduates were given the option to participate virtually if they were unable to attend in person. Virtual participants were honored at the in-person ceremony with their name announced and their photo shown on a large outdoor screen.

Amid signage reminding the limited guests to practice proper social distancing protocols, graduates wearing face coverings greeted each other with joy, many seeing each other for the first time since departing campus in March when classes transitioned to remote modes of instruction.

James R. Lowe, Jr., Waynesburg University Board of Trustees chair, offered greetings from the Board.

“Faith, learning and serving are the building blocks to gaining wisdom,” Lowe said. “Your graduation here today represents a major milestone in your life. Know that you do not only leave with a diploma, but the University has also provided you with the building blocks to wisdom.”

Noelle Hughes, the valedictorian for the Class of 2020, delivered the valedictory to the university and encouraged her classmates to embrace change rather than fear it.

“There is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now, but we are ready,” she said.

During the valedictory to the graduates, Waynesburg University President Douglas G. Lee urged graduates to “be people that show the way.”

“Today, I challenge you to take your Waynesburg University education of connecting faith, learning and serving and live a life of purpose – a life that not only benefits you, but benefits those around you. A life that shows the way to others.”

The university awarded the following degrees to the Class of 2020: Doctor of Nursing Practice, Ph.D. in Counselor Education and Supervision, Master of Arts, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Business Administration, Master of Education, Master of Science in Athletic Training, Master of Science in Nursing, Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Management and Leadership, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology, and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

A virtual baccalaureate ceremony was also held Friday, July 31.

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