Fairmont State honored spring graduates during the University’s 153rd Commencement in the Feaster Center. The University celebrated the achievements of its newest alumni from each of its five colleges during ceremonies taking place throughout the weekend, including two special student athlete ceremonies and Fairmont State Alumni Golden Jubilee Celebration for the Class of 1972.
Fairmont State University President, Mirta M. Martin, praised Falcon graduaes for their extraordinary achievements, while urging them to continue following their dreams.
“My dear graduates, congratulations for getting here,” Martin said. “Congratulations for making this your destination. I am so very proud of you, and I am so very grateful to have had the privilege to have you in my life. Now, go out and make a difference in the world.”
Several distinguished guests joined the platform party throughout the weekend to provide Commencement addresses including Fairmont State Foundation President, Gary K. Bennett, West Virginia Governor, Jim Justice, Assistant Adjutant General and Special Assistant to the Director of the Air National Guard for Diversity and Inclusion, Brigadier General Christopher S. Walker, and West Virginia Secretary of State, the Honorable Mac Warner.
Bennett provided remarks during the special student athlete ceremony and Fairmont State Alumni Golden Jubilee Celebration on Friday, April 29. Bennett, also a member of the Fairmont State Class of 1972, reflected on his journey at Fairmont State from his time as a student through his career as an educator and beyond. He encouraged graduates to pursue a career they love and are passionate about, while also emphasizing the value of giving back to others.
Warner addressed graduates during the College of Nursing and College of Education, Health & Human Performance and Regents of Bachelor of Arts Ceremonies on Saturday, April 30, applauding students for their accomplishments and encouraging them to make a difference as they leave the University as alumni.
“Know that you are prepared,” Warner said. “Leave Fairmont State University knowing that you are ready to meet the challenges. As you leave here today know the education has prepared you for an ever-changing world, and a career full of opportunities. Today, it is about you. Tomorrow, it’s about changing the world.”
Saturday’s ceremonies concluded with the College of Liberal Arts, where Governor Jim Justice shared several pieces of advice with graduates during his address, some of which included to be proud of who you are, to always be thankful and never give up.
“You can absolutely take us to another level of greatness, and you can do it,” Justice said. “Absolutely I know beyond any doubt in my mind that you can do just that.” `
Graduates from the College of Liberal Arts were congratulated by Governor Justice and greeted by the Governor’s beloved companion, BabyDog, as they received their degrees.
The University’s Commencement continued on Sunday, May 1 as Brigadier General Walker gave addresses during the College of Science & Technology and College of Business & Aviation ceremonies. Walker provided graduates with several keys to success as they enter the next phase of their lives, including to strive to be leaders, to seek out mentors throughout their careers and to never forget who you are and where you came from.
Walker concluded his address with a final message for graduates, “I look for future leaders with the grit, and tenacity and the compassion that I know all of you possess. I’ll be retiring in a matter of months, and I feel much better knowing that you all will be on the bench to be the future leaders of this country.”
Each graduate left with a final sentiment from President Martin at the close of each ceremony.
“Falcons soar – that’s what we were made to do. There’s a lot of open sky out there, and as Falcons, we’re going to fly as high and as far as our imaginations will take us,” Martin said. “‘Soar Falcons’ is our way of life.”
The University’s Commencement ceremonies are archived and available for viewing at www.fairmontstate.edu/celebrate.