SPRINGFIELD — Nothing but blue skies welcomed a standing-room only crowd in Commencement Hollow to celebrate the Class of 2017 as Wittenberg University hosted its 167th Commencement exercises on May 13.
Paige Howard, of Sidney, was one of the students who received a degree during the ceremony.
Interim University President Dick Helton led the commencement celebration, congratulating the 430 members of the Class of 2017 in his opening remarks. He also awarded honorary degrees to two distinguished guests: Commencement speaker Sandra L. Postel, Wittenberg class of 1978, director of the independent Global Water Policy Project, and Christopher Philip Long, Wittenberg class of 1991, dean of the College of Arts and Letters at Michigan State University.
Helton welcomed the graduates and their invited guests to the ceremony, while making special mention of the parents in attendance. They were invited to stand and be recognized by the assembled crowd with a thunderous ovation. He then praised the Wittenberg faculty before saluting members of the Class of 2017.
“This is my second and last Commencement at Wittenberg, and I can say with all sincerity that this university changes lives,” he said. “As a teacher, administrator, coach, and longtime college president, I have had the distinct privilege of seeing lives changed at every age and through every experience. The most important thing I have discovered is not whether the mountain is in Asia or Europe or beneath the sea. The most important thing is that the mountain you choose to climb is high. I think that is the power of this place, which has given you the confidence, curiosity and the foundation you need not only to choose your own mountain, but to successfully scale it each and every time.”
Senior Class President Megan Bobbitt, from Rocky River, Ohio, is a marketing major with a minor in communication. She explained why Wittenberg provides its students a unique experience.