“Progress is never achieved by those who maintain status quo but instead by those who are open to a changing world. You are well positioned for success because the education you have received will help keep you on the right path to adapt as the world around you changes.” That’s part of the message West Virginia’s First District Congressman Alan B. Mollohan said to graduates at the 135th Glenville State College commencement. The ceremony was held Saturday, May 9, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. in the Jesse R. Lilly, Jr. Gymnasium. GSC’s ‘Class of 2009’ includes 216 graduates from all over West Virginia and several other states including California, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, Indiana, and Iowa as well as Japan and Canada. Most of the graduates completed their degree requirements in May, while others completed their courses in July or December of last year.
In addition to being the ceremony’s keynote speaker, Congressman Mollohan also received an Honorary Doctor of Public Service. West Virginia Division of Culture and History Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith was presented with an Honorary Doctor of Music degree. He then presented a surprise Distinguished West Virginian Award on behalf of Governor Joe Manchin to GSC Bluegrass Music Program Director Buddy Griffin.
GSC President Peter Barr announced the winners of the three annual faculty, staff, and student awards. Business Professor Cinda Echard was named the Faculty Award of Excellence recipient. Registrar’s Office employee Ann Reed received the Classified Employee of the Year award, and the Student Leadership Award went to senior Holli Owens of Parsons in Tucker County. Nearly two dozen members of the school’s ‘Class of 1959’ returned to campus to also participate in the commencement and were recognized as 50-year graduates.