Virginia Wesleyan University celebrates hundreds of graduates on Saturday

Education

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — A socially distanced ceremony celebrated hundreds of students graduating from Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday.

Inside the TowneBank Arena, faculty and family alike gathered to congratulate the Class of 2021.

“We are mindful of everything it took to get here today,” said VWU President Scott D. Miller. “This year has been so different from anything we’ve experienced in our lifetimes.”

Following his welcome remarks, Dr. Miller introduced commencement speaker Dr. Timothy Carter, President of the Boston-based environmental advocacy organization Second Nature.

“While I am both an ecologist and a climate change professional, I can’t represent all things ecology and all things climate,” he continued. “And if my identity were so tightly wound around any one of these things, then if I don’t have the answers, then I am a phony and a professional failure.”

“The more tightly you hold things, the more sacred they are to you, so make that your guide. Don’t cling to your identities, cling to what you consider sacred. Be as authentic as you know how to be.”

He also encouraged students to not swing on their plans, but plan on their swings.

University President Miller concluded the ceremony with a message to graduates.

“I offer my sincerest congratulations, to these very special graduates and the family, friends, and faculty and staff members who helped them along the way,” President Miller said. “We will always remember the Class of 2021 for their resilience and adaptability. These qualities, along with their world-class liberal arts education from VWU, will help them achieve their personal and professional goals.”

A fifth Commencement Ceremony will be held for students on Sunday, May 16, and will be live-streamed.

Stay with WAVY.com for more local education updates.

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