ROCK SPRINGS – Approximately 430 students will be recognized for degree and certificate completion at Western Wyoming Community College during this year’s Commencement ceremony on Friday, May 15. In total, Western will confer approximately 560 degrees and certificates.
The campus has awarded nearly 8,000 associate’s degrees and more than 2,000 certificates since its very first Commencement exercises in 1962.
This year’s Commencement will begin at 7 p.m. in Rushmore Gymnasium with Edward Elgar and Holcombe’s Processional “Pomp and Circumstance” Op. 39, No. 1, played by the WWCC Brass Ensemble. The welcome will be given by Master of Ceremonies and Western Vice President for Student Learning Kim Farley.
The recipient of this year’s Outstanding Graduate Award is Elvis Nkezabahizi, of Rwanda, Africa. He will deliver an address to his fellow graduates. Elvis is one of 10 international students from nine different countries who are earning degrees and certificates from Western this year.
The Outstanding Graduate address will be followed by a performance interlude, “PULSE 3.0,” performed by Performing Arts dance students and faculty and directed by Dance Instructor Britta Joy Peterson, with music by Brandon Coprich and spoken word by Kid J.A.M.
Troy Archuleta, academic coordinator for the University of Wyoming Outreach School, will recognize the UW Sweetwater County Outreach graduates. Western President Karla Leach will present the Summer 2014, Fall 2014 and Spring 2015 graduates. Western Board of Trustees President George Eckman will give the response.
VP Farley, assisted by the Board of Trustees and academic division chairs, will confer the degrees, certificates and honors. Trustees in addition to Eckman include: Vice President Lynne Chadey; Secretary Dr. Tom Spicer; Treasurer Richard Baxter, III; and members Dick Boettcher, Jr., Shannon Honaker and James Roth.
Fifty of this year’s degree recipients completed their studies through a Western Outreach location outside of Rock Springs and Green River. Western Outreach Centers include: Baggs; Big Piney; Bridger Valley; Cokeville; Elk Mountain; Evanston; Farson; Kemmerer; Pinedale; Rawlins; Saratoga; and Star Valley.
Of the degrees and certificates being conferred May 15, 82 were completed during Summer 2014 and 133 were completed during Fall 2014, with the remainder being completed during the semester now concluding. Final exams began at Western May 8.
Earlier on May 15, the Division of Health Sciences and the Department of Nursing will host their annual Nursing Pinning Ceremony for nursing students who are completing their Associate of Science in Nursing degrees this year. The ceremony will begin at 1 p.m. in the WWCC Theatre and will be followed by a reception in the Atrium.
Western’s Nursing Program is celebrating the 25th year of its Registered Nursing degree program. Its first class of associate-degree recipients graduated in 1990, and some members of that first class will be in attendance at the May 15 pinning ceremony.