Fairmont State to Celebrate 149th Commencement on May 12

Tuesday, May 08, 2018

More than 350 students will participate in the 149th Commencement ceremonies for Fairmont State University on Saturday, May 12, in the Feaster Center. For the first time in recent history two ceremonies will be held.

Graduates in the college of liberal arts including master of science; school of nursing; school of fine arts; and regents bachelor of arts will participate in the morning ceremony which begins at 10 a.m.

College of science and technology including master of architecture; school of business including master of business administration; and school of education including master of arts in teaching and master of education graduates will participate in the afternoon ceremony which begins at 4 p.m.

Dr. Stephen B. Jones, former Fairmont State Interim President, will serve as the Commencement speaker. Alyssa Welling will be the student speaker. For those who would like to view the May 12 ceremony from home, video will be streamed live at www.fairmontstate.edu/livegraduation.

The School of Nursing Spring Commencement and Pinning Ceremony will take place at 7 p.m., Thursday, May 10, in the Feaster Center. The pinning ceremony is a long-held tradition that is a symbolic welcoming of newly graduated nurses into the profession of nursing. The graduate nurse is presented with the nursing pin by the faculty of the nursing program. Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Associate of Science in Nursing graduates may participate in the May 12 ceremony.

“Commencement is one of my favorite times of the year,” said President Mirta Martin. “We witness firsthand the enthusiasm of all those who are beginning their new journey - into our Falcon Nation and into the world as alumni. Our faculty and staff take pride in playing a part in their journey and we are proud to celebrate their success.”

To make attending the Fairmont State University Commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 12, more convenient, some parking changes will be in effect. The Department of Public Safety will re-route the loop around campus to become one way.  All traffic is encouraged to enter campus on the Squibb Wilson entrance and follow the directed traffic pattern. Officers and other attendants will be on hand to direct traffic and answer parking questions. General parking will stay in the left lane upon entering campus. The right lane will be for shuttles and handicapped parking only. Shuttle pick up and drop offs will be indicated on the map with a star and a color that will correspond with the shuttle route.

All handicapped accessible parking will be located in the Pence Hall parking lot. Handicapped accessible seating is available on the second floor of the Joe Retton Arena, so those with mobility issues should enter the Feaster Center from the second-floor entrance.

The best advice for those attending Commencement is to arrive early for the event and to carpool as much as possible. Doors will open to the public at 8:30 a.m. for the morning ceremony and 2:30 p.m. for the afternoon ceremony. Thank you in advance for your attention to these changes and for your patience. 

Sign language interpreting services will be provided during the ceremony. The Office of Disability Services will provide Commencement programs in Braille at the Feaster Center. For more information, call the Office of Disability Services at (304) 367-4686 or the Department of Public Safety at (304) 367-4157.

Stephen B. Jones, Ph.D.

Dr. Stephen Jones is a forester and applied ecologist who stumbled into higher education administration following a dozen years in the paper and allied products manufacturing sector and nine years on the forestry faculty at Penn State University. He subsequently held positions reporting to the CEO at Auburn University, Alabama A&M University, and North Carolina State University. He then served as CEO at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, Urbana University, and Antioch University-New England. He also chaired the governing board of The University of the Arctic. He proudly notes that he reached the pinnacle of his career serving as Interim President at Fairmont State University!

He is a lifelong nature enthusiast, a staunch advocate for Earth stewardship, and a published book author who writes and speaks passionately about what he describes as “nature inspired learning and leading.”

He is married (approaching 46 years) to his high school sweetheart Judy, has two adult children and five grandchildren, and resides in northern Alabama’s Tennessee Valley region.

Dr. Jones believes there is no higher calling than soaring with the Fairmont State University Falcons! 

 Alyssa P. Welling

Alyssa Welling is a graduate of Ripley High School in Ripley, WV. As a student at Fairmont State University she completed coursework in business, psychology, kinesiology, nutrition, and emergency care. Welling will graduate in December with a degree in exercise science. In addition to her coursework, she is a member of the Fairmont State University College Republicans, Student Government and the West Virginia Federation of College Republicans where she serves as the secretary. In 2017, she was elected to serve on the Board of Governors of Fairmont State University as the student representative. After graduation, Welling plans to have a career in law.