For the first time since 2016, Kentucky Wesleyan College students were able to graduate on campus. While the weather didn’t hold out for the traditional commencement ceremony in the Grove, graduates were able to walk the line in Jones Gym.
Eddie Kenny, interim vice president of advancement, said 137 students graduated Saturday.
“This is a day we all wait for every year — to be able to celebrate the achievements of all our graduates, whether they are going on to graduate school programs or are already entering the workforce as a career professional,” he said. “Today is really a celebration of the work that follows. It’s good to have all the family and friends here today supporting them.”
The 2019 class graduated its first Rogers Fellow, Brooklyn Strepo.
The Rogers Foundation, which began in 2016, is an educational non-profit established by James E. Rogers, a Kentucky-born, long-time Las Vegas resident. The Rogers’ Fellows Scholarship is open to college-bound residents of Clark County, Nev., who wish to attend Wesleyan.
Scott Kramer, vice president of executive initiatives and retention, said each class is individually unique.
“This is a group that has achieved so much,” he said. “It’s been fun to watch them go through the process and get to the end and go and fulfill their career dreams that they’ve worked so hard for.”
Kentucky Wesleyan President Bart Darrell challenged each member of the graduating class to be the best they can be. He said people across the country will wish they had made the decision that each of the 137 graduates made — to attend Wesleyan.
“They can either be one of us or compete against us,” he said.
Graduate Tyler Martin Miles, who played football for the Panthers, said he was so excited to finally be graduating.
“I feel like the last four years have gone by so slow,” he said. “But all that hard work is finally paying off now.”
Even after graduating Saturday from Wesleyan, Miles said his time as a student is not over with yet, as he will be attending graduate school in the fall.
“I’m trying to buckle down and be the humble type of person that Wesleyan taught me to be,” he said. “It’s going to be a journey, but I’m ready for it.”