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Bobcats look forward to next step

Nicole Pappas Mollica carries the flag representing Ohio University Southern at the start of the graduation program on Friday.

Nicole Pappas Mollica carries the flag representing Ohio University Southern at the start of the graduation program on Friday.

More than 300 students earn degrees

White chairs lined the courtyard of Ohio University Southern Friday evening, where family and friends awaited the Ohio University Southern class of 2016.

As Pomp and Circumstance played, the OUS faculty led the procession from the Dingus Center to the courtyard, followed by the graduates and the ceremony began with an invocation, Pledge of Allegiance and a welcome by OUS Coordinating Council member Tyler Walters.

“It’s an honor and privilege to be with you this evening for the 30th annual Ohio University Southern graduation,” he said. “The first graduating class had 46 graduates. This past year, 303 students completed degrees and we have 160 graduates participating today.”

Greetings were given by OUS dean Nicole Pennington and OUS academic division coordinator Hayley Haugen, before faculty and alumni awards were given by faculty member Kristi Barnes and Viviane Vallence, OUS external relations director.

Deborah Meehan then gave a charge to the graduates and faculty members Purba Das and Tom Suter conducted the presentation of candidates before OUS associate dean Miki Crawford conducted degree recognition.

“Ohio University Southern gives you a lot of opportunities for what you pay for,” Johnathan Sloas, of Franklin Furnace, who graduated with a degree in history, said. “It maintains a small school feel without robbing you of the education you deserve.”

The atmosphere Ohio University Southern presents is something its students really enjoy.

“I like how personable the professors are with the students and how caring other students have been with their fellow students,” Cheryl Crum, of Chesapeake, said.

Crum graduated with a degree in criminal justice.

“The professors are really tight-knit and the education is hands-on, which helps us through the program,” nursing graduate Stephanie Hensley, of Chesapeake, said. “That’s the benefit of being here versus being at a big campus.

Hensley said after graduation, she is set to work on the cardiac unit at Bellefonte Hospital.

At the end of the ceremony, Pennington gave closing remarks before the recessional and a reception following in the courtyard.

“I had a really good experience at Ohio University Southern and it’s a well established community,” communications graduate Katherine Wiley, of Ironton, said. “I’m very grateful for the education that I got here. It’s a place that I’ll miss.”