Graduating Seniors Gearing Up for Commencement Weekend Events

May 7, 2019

WC to Livestream Ceremony from Website

Wilmington College will confer 304 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees at its 143rd Commencement Saturday (May 11).

PICTURED: President Jim Reynolds gave the main campus student speakers for Commencement, Baccalaureate and Senior Lunch a pep talk last week. Pictured with Reynolds from the left are: Jayme Mabry, Shelby Dodds, Hillary Mitchell, Carley Wilson and Lawrence Daya. 

While that ceremony marks the culmination of both the academic year and these students’ undergraduate careers, it is one of several events in which the graduating seniors will join together a final time to reflect upon, appreciate and celebrate their time at Wilmington College.

With final exams concluding Tuesday, the Class of 2019 will hold a “Zero Year Class Reunion” Thursday afternoon for graduating seniors at The Escape with entertainment and snacks sponsored by WC Alumni Council and First Decade Society, the latter of which places a special emphasis upon alumni from the past 10 years.

On Friday, the soon-to-be-graduates will attend the annual Baccalaureate ceremony, an event designed for them to reflect upon their experience at the College.

Highlights include musical numbers by members of the College Chorale and a faculty/staff vocal ensemble, a senior video presentation and student remarks from Carley Wilson, a member of the Class of ’19 and psychology major from Batavia. Also, campus minister Nancy McCormick will present a welcome and senior Brianna Montgomery, a health administration major from Cincinnati, will offer an invocation and scripture reading.

Following Baccalaureate, the students will have one final meal together — in this case, a feast — at the Senior Lunch. The program includes awards presentations for student leadership, along with the Teaching Excellence Award and Van Black Award, the latter of which is designated for a faculty or staff member who has gone well above his or her job description in support of students.

Student government president Kameron Rinehart will preside at the lunch, at which graduating senior Shelby Dodds, an agriculture/education major from Washington Court House, will offer a response to a “Farewell to Seniors” message from Dr. Michael Snarr, professor of political science. Also, 1981 alumnus Kevin Clayton, vice president for diversity, inclusion and engagement with the Cleveland Cavaliers, will share advice and memories of WC.

The College’s Cincinnati Branch students will join their main campus counterparts for Commencement rehearsal Friday afternoon, which will culminate with a class photo. The graduating seniors from the Cincinnati Branches had their annual Senior Banquet May 3.

On Saturday, President Jim Reynolds will preside over the Commencement ceremony and present the address. Class member Hillary Mitchell, a communication arts major from Walton, Ky., will introduce the president after an invocation by the campus minister and welcome from senior Lawrence Daya, an athletic training major from North Canton. Presenting student remarks will be Jayme Mabry, a criminal justice major from Amelia, and Jamar Cody, representing the main campus and Cincinnati Branch, respectively.

Those wishing to view the ceremony should visit the Commencement page on (search: “143rd Commencement”) prior to the ceremony’s 10:30 a.m. start, or click on:

Dr. Steve Szeghi, vice president for academic affairs, will announce academic honors and awards before special music presented by graduating class member Jessica Fair, an education major from Cedarville, and members of the College Chorale, with accompaniment by Dr. Brianna Matzke, assistant professor of music.

A brass ensemble led by Stephen Wadsack, director of athletic bands and instructor of music, and including Blake Woolsey and Nick Gilmore, will perform the academic processional and recessional.

Handling the conferring of degrees will be Reynolds and Szeghi, along with registrar Sue Hutchens and Peggy Sturdivant, chair, Board of Trustees. Alumni Council president Don Muchmore, Class ’73, will confer the graduates’ membership into the alumni community.

The Class of 2019 will process from the ceremony onto Elm Street, where they will traverse through a wall of faculty, staff and trustees congratulating them as they proceed en route to meet their families and friends on Collett Mall and at the subsequent ice cream reception in Pyle Center.