Ohio University Southern honors diverse group of graduates

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Ohio University Southern graduates Amy Clagg and Jennifer Colley couldn't be more different.

Clagg looks to be in her 20s, and is picking up her associate's degree in nursing.

Colley will be receiving her associate degree in applied science, human services. She had

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returned to school after a 14-year absence. The one thing the girls did have in common was they were being honored at Friday's graduate recognition program at OUS.

The ceremony wasn't precisely a graduation, that would happen Saturday in Athens at the main Ohio University campus.

Friday night's ceremony in the Shafer Courtyard was simply a way for the Southern campus to honor its more than 290 grads. Whether or not it was a graduation, it wasn't about to stop Clagg's nerves from going haywire.

"I'm excited, I got a job so Š I can't wait," Clagg said. Clagg will soon be starting a job at the Tri-State Cancer Center across the street from King's Daughters Medical Center in Ashland.

"It's been a great experience, I like OU, the program, the nursing program here is awesome," Clagg said.

Colley seemed a little less enthused than Clagg, maybe just a little more relieved to finally get her diploma.

"It's been tough adjusting after 14 years of being away from school," Colley said. "Especially with four kids, but I feel pretty good, a little nervous, a little hot."

She wasn't alone there. The sweltering heat had made sweat beads as much a part of the graduation outfit as the cap and gown.

The two were pretty representative of the diverse group of students being recognized on Friday.

As the procession into the plaza began to the opening strains of "Pomp and Circumstance" both a 19-year-old and a 61-year-old were greeted with sporadic applause.

As the ceremony began with prayer, as if on cue, a much-appreciated cool breeze slipped through the black-robed figures, drying the beads of sweat below their caps. It seemed as if the students had received their first official graduation gift, even though it was a day early.