With 237 students walking across the stage in the Alumni Gymnasium to receive the rewards of persistence, Wiley College graduated its largest class Saturday at its 127th Baccalaureate and Commencement Convocation.
Commencement speaker Ryan Mack, Market President, Mid-Atlantic Region for Operation Hope, told graduates that they are now on a journey to achieve success and, ultimately, greatness, with all roads leading toward the good works they will do for humanity."Success is what you do for self," said Mack. "Greatness is what you do for others. Let us begin the journey to greatness."
Mack told students that because Wiley has educated them to elevate their thinking,they can step into their futures with faith that they can achieve their goals. "You don't have to wait for your ship to come in. You can build your own ship," said Mack.
Wiley graduate Shelby Collymore shared reflections during the commencement ceremony, telling the graduates that God has been her support system during her time at the College." He has been there for me," said Collymore, who graduated from Wiley with highest honors. " And I am thankful for the people God has put in my life."
Collymore praised and thanked her mother for her love and guidance. She thanked Wiley's faculty and staff for pushing her and encouraging her and taking her under their wings.
Collymore also praised the class of 2016. "We are eagles flying high," she said. And using a quote from football legend Vince Lombardi, she told the graduates, " 'Winning is not a sometime thing. It's an all the time thing.' You are winners. Let us go forth inspired, glorious deeds to do."
For her academic achievements and contribution to the community, Collymore was presented the Allen Mercer Mayes/Laverne Hadnott Endowed Scholarship award during the ceremony.
Also during the ceremony, Dr. Sarah Honeycutt, Instructor of English, received the Exemplary Faculty Award.
The Alumni Gymnasium was filled to its 1,800 seating capacity with friends and family who came out to share in the graduates' special day. Overflow seating for 600 was filled to capacity in the Julius S. Scott Chapel, where the ceremony was streamed live on two screens.
In top photo are new Wiley College graduates Ray Early, Krystal Watson, and Jordan Woods. In second photo is commencemt speaker Ryan Mack, and in the third photo, the class of 2016 revels in the knowledge that they will soon officially be graduates of Wiley College.