Fairmont State University to Host 152nd Commencement in Feaster Center

Thursday, April 22, 2021

Nearly 400 students will participate in the six ceremonies taking place throughout the weekend during Fairmont State University’s 152nd Commencement in the Feaster Center. The University will honor graduates at a special student athlete Commencement on Friday, April 23, while each of the University’s schools and colleges will celebrate separately at ceremonies taking place Saturday, April 24 – Sunday, April 25. U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito and the Honorable Gayle Manchin, former Secretary of Education for the Arts and Appalachian Regional Commission Co-Chair, will join the University’s platform party to provide Commencement addresses.

“It is my honor to welcome our distinguished guests and keynote speakers home to Fairmont State,” said Mirta M. Martin, Fairmont State University President. “Secretary Gayle Manchin and Senator Shelley Moore Capito both serve as role models and inspirations within our great state of West Virginia. We’re thrilled they are joining us to celebrate our students’ extraordinary accomplishments.”

Manchin will provide the keynote address at ceremonies on Saturday, while Senator Shelley Moore Capito will speak at ceremonies taking place on Sunday. Spring Commencement Ceremonies will take place in the Feaster Center as follows:

Friday, April 23:

  • Special Student Athlete Ceremony – 6 p.m.

Saturday, April 24: 

  • School of Nursing – Commencement and Pinning Ceremony – 9 a.m. 
  • School of Education, Health & Human Performance and Regents Bachelor of Arts – Noon 
  • College of Science and Technology – 3 p.m. 

Sunday, April 25: 

  • College of Liberal Arts – Noon
  • School of Business and Aviation – 3 p.m.  

Each graduate submitting an RSVP to participate in Commencement is permitted two guest tickets for their ceremony, no exceptions will be made to the guest policy. The University will livestream the ceremonies for each college or school, allowing those unable to attend to join virtually in real-time. Each ceremony will be available for viewing at www.fairmontstate.edu/152nd-commencement.

The Department of Public Safety and Physical Plant will re-route traffic on Saturday, April 24 and Sunday, April 25, allowing vehicles to enter campus only from the Squibb Wilson Boulevard entrance to ensure smooth traffic patterns. Officers and other attendants will be on hand to direct traffic and answer parking questions. Shuttle services will be available on campus, beginning pick-ups one hour prior to each ceremony.All graduates, university guests and the community should expect traffic pattern and parking changes on and surrounding campus areas. Those attending Commencement exercises are asked to remain patient when arriving on campus, as multiple ceremonies will be occurring throughout the day. Guests and graduates should consider carpooling when possible.

“We want to thank our graduates, university guests and communities surrounding campus for your patience as we work to ensure each of our Commencement ceremonies is executed smoothly, and successfully,” said Matt Swain, Fairmont State Chief of Police and Emergency Management Director. “The best advice we can provide is to be patient with us throughout the weekend, as we have several ceremonies taking place each day. We appreciate your attention to these changes made by our Department of Public Safety and Physical Plant.”

Commencement details will continue to be available at www.fairmontstate.edu/commencement.

Gayle Conelly Manchin

Gayle Conelly Manchin attended West Virginia University, attaining her Bachelor of Arts in Language Arts and Education and a Master of Arts in Reading, and a second master’s specialization in Educational Technology Leadership from Salem International University.

As a WV educator, Gayle worked in Marion County Schools, served on the faculty of Fairmont State University, and was the Director of the university’s first Community Service Learning Program. From 2000-2004, she directed the AmeriCorps Promise Fellows in WV and implemented a statewide initiative, WVPASS (WV Partnerships to Assure Student Success).

From January 2005 until November 2010, Gayle served as West Virginia’s First Lady. She was appointed to serve as a member of the State Board of Education, serving her last two years as President. She is the Chair of the Board for Reconnecting McDowell, Inc., an AFT initiative serving rural WV, is a past president of the Vandalia Rotary Club of Charleston, and as an Emeritus Member of The Education Alliance. She also served as Cabinet Secretary for the West Virginia Office of Education and the Arts.

On the national level, Gayle is a Past-President of the National State Boards of Education (NASBE). She was appointed by Sec. of Education, Arne Duncan to the FIPSE (Federal Improvement for Post-Secondary Education) Board in 2010; is a member of the Spouses of the Senate, and the International Friendship Club. In addition, Gayle serves on the Board of Trustees of The Ford Theatre in Washington, DC.

In 2018, she was appointed by Senator Chuck Schumer to serve as one of nine Commissioners on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF); she was reappointed in 2020 and currently serves as chair.

While at WVU, Gayle met and married Joe Manchin, III, elected as US Senator from West Virginia, to fill the unexpired term of Senator Robert C Byrd in 2010, and re-elected in 2012, and 2018 for full terms. Joe and Gayle have been married for 53 years and have three children and ten grandchildren.

U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.)

Shelley Moore Capito was elected by the people of West Virginia to the United States Senate in 2014, and re-elected in 2020. She is the first female U.S. senator in West Virginia’s history and was elected with the largest margin of victory for a Republican in state history—winning more than 70 percent of the vote and all 55 counties, surpassing the previous mark she set in 2014 when she won more than 62 percent of the vote and all 55 counties.

After serving West Virginia’s Second Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for 14 years, and as a member of the West Virginia House of Delegates for four years prior, Senator Capito decided to run for Senate to be an even stronger voice for the Mountain State. She also saw an opportunity to restore order to a Senate stuck in gridlock for far too long. She believes that today's challenges demand bipartisan solutions and cooperation across the aisle to advance legislation that benefits West Virginia and the country as a whole. Senator Capito is committed to being accessible and responsive to her fellow West Virginians and regularly travels, with proper health and safety precautions in place, to hear from and meet with West Virginians.

Senator Capito serves on the Appropriations Committee; the Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee; the Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee; and the Rules and Administration Committee. This committee portfolio puts her in a strong position to create new opportunities in the Mountain State and fight for West Virginia priorities, jobs, and families.

As a member of the Committee on Appropriations, Senator Capito works to ensure West Virginia’s priorities are represented when our nation’s funding decisions are made. During her time on the committee, she has served as chair of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee, the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee, and the Homeland Security Subcommittee. Senator Capito currently serves as the top Republican on the Homeland Security Subcommittee, where she oversees funding for a range of national security resources and agencies. She has been a member of the Appropriations Committee since she became a Senator in 2015.

On the EPW Committee, the senator serves as Ranking Member. As the top Republican on the committee, Ranking Member Capito has advocated for policies that protect vital West Virginia energy and manufacturing jobs and encourage investment in West Virginia’s infrastructure. As a leader on the EPW Committee, Ranking Member Capito is committed to promoting a commonsense regulatory strategy and protecting affordable, reliable energy production; building our nation’s infrastructure, and encourage economic development. She has been a member of the EPW Committee since she became a Senator in 2015.

On the Commerce Committee, Senator Capito oversees ways to address many issues that are critical to West Virginia, most notably broadband expansion, which she has been a leading voice on since she came to Congress. This committee assignment allows Senator Capito to continue advocating for improved connectivity in West Virginia.

A lifelong West Virginian herself, Senator Capito was born in Glen Dale in the Northern Panhandle. She holds a B.S. in Zoology from Duke University and a M.Ed. from the University of Virginia. She and her husband Charles L. Capito Jr. reside in Charleston. They have three adult children: two sons, Charles (wife Laura) and Moore, and one daughter, Shelley (husband Colin Macleod). They have also been blessed with seven grandchildren: Celia, Charlie, Eliza, Rose, Arch, Macaulay, and Lewis.