Highlanders celebrate rewarding journey at the Graduate Commencement and Hooding Ceremony
The College of Graduate Studies and Research Commencement and Hooding Ceremony was held on December 13, 2019 in Bondurant Auditorium.
During the ceremony, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Kenna M. Colley, Ed.D., delivered the keynote address.
“This is a life-changing moment for all of our graduates. A day of justly deserved celebration. A day to also celebrate all those who have supported our graduates on their journey,” Colley said. “Having been at Radford for many years now, I continue to be amazed at the drive, the dedication, the motivation and the inspiration of our students, especially those of you who have overcome obstacles and barriers along your educational journey and life’s path. This preparation and resilience will serve you well in your professions and while you are serving others.”
For many of the graduates, the ceremony marked the end of a long and challenging, yet rewarding journey.
Benjamin Ward, of Chesterfield, Virginia, was working for a government contractor when it abruptly shut down three years ago. Forced to find a new career path, he discovered a bright future at Radford University. Working full-time as a special education aid and juggling the role of a single father, Ward went back to school. On December 13, 2019, he proudly earned his Master of Science in Special Education.
“It’s been a hard road, but I am so proud and excited for what’s next,” Ward said.
Also very happy was Ward’s daughter, Kylee, who was waiting for her father, along with his parents, in the audience. “She’s very happy for her dad,” Ward said.
Seventy-six degrees were conferred to students in the Master of Arts in Music, Master of Business Administration, Master of Occupational Therapy, Master of Science in Counseling and Human Development, Master of Science in Data and Information Management, Master of Science in Education, Master of Science in Educational Leadership, Master of Science in Literacy Education, Master of Science in Psychology, Master of Science in Special Education and Master of Science in Strategic Communication programs.
Of the graduating class, the oldest student was 59, and the youngest was 22. Montgomery County, Virginia was the top locality of graduates at 13, followed closely by the City of Radford with 10.