Ohio University Southern honors 216 graduates

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 14, 2003

Ranging from the age of 19 to 57 years old, Ohio University Southern students participating in the 23rd annual graduation recognition ceremony Friday have a new title to put after their names -- college graduate.

A total of 216 students who took most or all of their courses at the southern campus will receive degrees as part of the 2002-2003 class, Dean of OUS Dr. Dan Evans said.

At least 110 of these students took part in the recognition ceremony at the Southern campus Friday, he said.

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"For many of our students, their home campus is OUS," he said. "They are local and many live and work in this region."

"One of the reasons it is so important is for the families and friends, the people who have provided support as the students have worked for years towards this dream, to be able to attend," Evans said.

Larry Sites of Chesapeake graduated with a bachelor's degree in health services administration. He was was excited before the ceremony.

"It feels better than I expected," he said. "It means a lot to me. This is just one step towards something better."

For Ironton resident Brian McKee graduating with a bachelors degree in history has extra meaning because he is a first generation college student. After praying that it does not rain all week, he said he was ready to walk across the stage.

"This feels wonderful because it is the end of one thing and the beginning of another," he said. "You do feel a little sad because you will be missing people who have been a part of your life for four years. But I look forward to a new life."

Seth Queen of Wheelersburg was excited as he waited for 10 or 11 family members to show up. He received two degrees and said it will be most satisfying when he gets out into the workplace and gets a job.

Commencement for masters and doctoral degrees was held Friday in Athens and graduates receiving associate and bachelor's degrees could participate in the commencement Saturday in Athens.

Dr. Evans said he is honored to be a part of this ceremony and to know this graduating class.

"Since I have been here, I have gotten to know many of the graduates walking across that stage," he said. "Many of these are mature young men and women who will make us all proud."