Ohio University's Eastern Campus honored graduates, scholarship recipients and student leaders at the honors and recognition convocation Friday evening at the Health and Physical Education Center in St. Clairsville.
Zachary Kinnick, a member of the 2014 graduating class, was honored by Campus Dean Paul Abraham for achieving excellence in the classroom. The St. Clairsville High School alum earned a bachelor's degree in exercise physiology and will begin the doctoral program in physical therapy in Athens this fall. He achieved an overall GPA of 3.9 at OUE and finished the demanding program in three years.
Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. served as the commencement speaker and told graduates they should be proud of attending the Eastern campus.
Photo by Jennifer Compston-Strough/Ohio University Eastern held its 2014 commencement Friday night at the school’s Health and Physical Education Center in St. Clairsville.
"In the 1960s, Ohio University saw the great need for students to obtain a world class education in their own communities. The solution in our part of the state has been Ohio University Eastern, which has educated thousands in the years following," he said. "I am most proud that my father, for whom I am named, was a state senator in this time frame and was instrumental in the creation of this fine institution."
Sargus also talked in detail to the graduates about how the economy is affected by rapid changes in technology. He said these breakthroughs have created some jobs, while eliminating others and, as a result, predicted a future of uncertainty as these new technologies continuously re-order the economy.
"Education, which has in all times been very important, is even more so in what we know will be a turbulent time ahead. Because of the education you have completed at Ohio University, you are versatile ... as the economic grounds shift, as they no doubt will, you have broad based knowledge that will allow you to perform many new tasks."
Belmont County Commissioners Ginny Favede and Mark Thomas were also on hand Friday and recognized the Honorable Jennifer Smart Sargus, recently retired as Common Pleas Court Judge, with a proclamation dedicated to her twenty-four years of outstanding service to the residents of Belmont County.
Sargus, who holds the distinction as the first female judge in the county, also played an integral part in developing the Belmont County Mediation Program, Domestic Magistrate Program, Intensive Probation Program, and Drug Court.
"Judge Sargus is an extraordinary woman who has served the Belmont County Judicial System with intellect and grace," Favede said. "She has served as Belmont County's first female judge and as a strong role model for women leaders. She embodies dignity and exercises fairness to all. She is a kind and genuine woman whom I admire and respect."
Abraham congratulated the graduates on earning their degrees, while also thanking the faculty for putting them to the test every step of the way.
"The great psychologist B.F. Skinner once said that education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten," he said. "Life is full of unexpected and unique challenges and precisely why an education at OUE is founded heavily on critical thinking and writing and learning how to learn."