WHEELING - Valedictorian Ian M. Hostetter is one of 378 new college graduates, following West Virginia Northern Community College's Friday commencement, the 40th such ceremony in the institution's history.
Lisa Allen, president and chief executive officer the Ziegenfelder Co. in Wheeling, told graduates to surround themselves with people who support their dreams and visions during her commencement address. The college provisionally awarded 483 total certificates, associate in arts, associate in science and associate in applied science degrees. Some students received more than one degree or certificate.
Hostetter told the audience at Wheeling's WesBanco Arena, where graduates from the Wheeling, Weirton and New Martinsville campuses gathered with their friends, families and alumni to celebrate the occasion.
Photo by Casey Junkins
West Virginia Northern Community College graduates 378 students at Wheeling’s WesBanco Arena Friday.
"Instead of applauding for me, you should applaud yourselves. I'll just pretend you are applauding me," he said.
At the college, Hostetter was a Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society inductee and the recipient of the Bernie Campbell Memorial Scholarship. He was a member of the class of 1999 at John Marshall High School where he was an Advanced Placement Scholar, National Merit Scholarship Finalist, Presidential Scholar Candidate and National Honor Society inductee.
The Ziegenfelder Co. manufactures more than 1 million twin pops each day at its East Wheeling location. Allen said she was honored to be asked to speak to the graduates.
"The average age in this graduating class is 28 years old. That is pretty impressive," she said in acknowledging the many non-traditional students the college serves.
Allen also told those in attendance to have a passion for their work - and find a way to share that passion in a positive manner.
"You don't know everything. I don't know everything. But together, we have a better chance," she said.
Kathi Ferrebee, student representative to the WVNCC board of governors, said she was "humbled and honored to represent her class.
"We are equipped to take on the world," she said.
Vice President of Academic Affairs Vicki Riley said the college, "has an unwavering commitment to offer excellence in academics."
"It is all about the students," she added.
Others participating in the ceremony included college President Martin J. Olshinsky; and Brann Altmeyer and Christin Byrum, members of the WVNCC board of governors, who conferred degrees and certificates. Music for the program was provided by Jason Troyan of Wheeling; vocalist was Mitchell Spurlock of Wellsburg; and graduating students' names were announced by Lucy Kefauver, classified staff representative on the board of governors.