BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (5/13/13) – Western Kentucky University wrapped up its 173rd Commencement with three undergraduate ceremonies Saturday at Diddle Arena.
WKU conferred 135 associate degrees, 1,475 baccalaureate degrees and 22 undergraduate certificates on Saturday. During the graduate ceremony on Friday night, WKU conferred 395 master’s degrees, six doctor of education degrees, six specialist degrees and 40 graduate certificates for a weekend total of 2,079.
In his remarks to the Class of 2013, President Gary Ransdell recalled his own graduation from WKU 40 years ago in 1973 and reflected on the lessons learned during a career journey that led him back to his alma mater 16 years ago.
“Commencement speeches are typically filled with advice for the new graduates, but suggestions and advice are fleeting,” Dr. Ransdell said. “Lots of individuals will want to give you advice about your profession and your relationships, and about how you spend your money and your leisure time. It is my hope, however, that your time at WKU helped you to cultivate the ability to think for yourselves. And I hope that we have built within you a deep self-confidence, that we have raised your personal self-esteem, and that we have honed your instincts.
“So here is my advice. When someone gives you advice, lay their ideas alongside your own thoughts and your own feelings, and if their suggestions jibe with your hopes and dreams, great, then follow their advice. But think for yourself, listen to your heart, tune into your innermost feelings, and trust your instincts.”
Dr. Ransdell encouraged graduates to set bold goals and dream big dreams. “Whatever you do after today – whether you plan to join the workforce, go to graduate school, travel the world, start a family or all of the above – listen to your heart as well as your head. It’s the best career counselor there is,” he said. “Our passions and inspirations drive us and give us a strong sense of purpose. And they are a great source of happiness in your life. Find things and people that you care about and invest in them with your heart, your soul and your body.”
WKU conducted three undergraduate ceremonies on Saturday – a morning ceremony for graduates of the Potter College of Arts & Letters and University College; an afternoon ceremony for graduates of the College of Health and Human Services and Gordon Ford College of Business; and an evening ceremony for graduates of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences and Ogden College of Science and Engineering. Each graduate received a WKU Class of 2013 red towel to wave at the conclusion of the ceremony.
Information provided by Western Kentucky University
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