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Shepherd hosts baccalaureate, graduate commencement ceremonies

By Staff | May 11, 2018

Shepherd University conferred 641 baccalaureate degrees and 60 graduate degrees during its 145th Baccalaureate and Graduate Commencement Ceremonies on Saturday.

The baccalaureate ceremony featured Paul T. McDermott, president and chief executive officer of the Washington Real Estate Investment Trust in Washington, D.C., as the guest speaker. The master’s and doctoral degree commencement speaker was Dr. Paul Welch, physician, nephrologist and president of the medical staff at Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg.

Friends and family gathered for the ceremonies to support the graduates.

“I’m really excited for her, and really proud of her,” said mom Mary Hoke, of Beckley, as she and her husband, Matthew, watched their daughter Cailey practicing for the nurse’s pinning ceremony Friday.

“Cailey’s worked so hard, and I hope she reaches all of her goals-she hopes to become a specialist in trauma and then become a nurse practitioner,” Hoke said. “I know she can do it; she’s very determined. I just want her to be happy.”

Senior Cierra Crockett, an elementary education major, attended the ceremony to support her boyfriend of five years, Blake Wilt.

“I’m very excited for him and I’m proud of him,” said Crockett.

Wilt, who is graduating with a double major in business and economics, described himself as feeling “pumped” to be a college graduate.

“I’m looking for a job in the government, but really I’ll be happy with anything to get my foot in the door,” Wilt said. He and Crockett, who will graduate in December, will stay in the area after college.

Michelle Green, a nursing graduate and mom of two from Harpers Ferry, will start working at Frederick Memorial Hospital after passing her National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX, this summer.

“I feel prepared-I had great teachers,” Green said. “I’m so excited about starting a new career.”

Nursing graduate Katya Quinn, of Shepherdstown, took graduation photos with fellow nursing graduate and friend Kaitlin Moore, of Hampstead, Maryland.

“I think it’s a great feeling, but sad, just leaving it all behind and starting a new path,” Quinn said. “I actually live in the area, so I won’t be moving anywhere.”

Moore said the next step for both her and Quinn will be taking and passing the NCLEX.

“I feel absolutely prepared for it,” said Moore. “They did a good job making sure of that.”