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OUS honors graduates

When Elizabeth Russell-Melvin walked across the stage Friday night at Ohio University Southern, she accomplished something she never thought she would.

After having been out of school for 30 years, Russell-Melvin earned a university degree.

“I didn’t want to get old and then die and not have my family be proud of my life,” she said of her decision to go back to school.

Russell-Melvin, a graduate of the school’s associate degree in arts and humanities, was just one of the graduates honored at the 30th annual graduation recognition ceremony at OUS.

The campus graduated 392 students with associates, bachelor of arts and master of arts degrees.

For Angel Adkins, the night was a testament to how hard work and time management can pay off. Currently a teacher at South Point Middle School, Adkins earned her master of arts degree in education administration.

The first college graduate in her family, Adkins said she wants to start a tradition of education in her family.

“You can do anything you put you’re mind to,” she said.

The evening was eventful, not only for the graduates, but also for the parents who came to support them.

Jamie Baumgardner’s daughter just graduated from the school’s nursing program.

“She’s so excited,” Baumgardner said. “We’re all so excited.”

Bill Willan, dean of OUS, congratulated the graduates and told them that a university education is more than training for a career.

Instead it’s about appreciating other cultures and seeing other points of view, he said.

“Continue to educate yourself so you can continue to do what you love and continue to love what you do,” Willan said.