Class of 2017 sets graduation record

Sunny weather accompanied the sunny dispositions of Washington State University Vancouver students on Saturday, as years of hard work was coming to a close for the graduating Class of 2017. WSU Vancouver recently set a record for graduating students. On May 6, 2017, 1,014 VanCougs walked the stage of the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater to celebrate their success and educational endeavors. The WSU Vancouver Class of 2017 included 28 doctoral candidates, 110 master’s candidates, and 876 bachelor’s candidates. Graduates received degrees in everything from computer science to zoology. The university’s chancellor, Mel Netzhammer, and student body president Skye Troy spoke at the event. Graduate Julian Rivas was honored at the event by receiving the Chancellor’s Award for Student Achievement.

Skye Troy served on student government for the past two years and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public affairs. Troy attended WSU Vancouver for the past two years after earning an associate degree from Mt. Hood Community College. “Attending WSU Vancouver let me work with a diverse and tight knit community,” Troy said. “WSU Vancouver expanded my beliefs and taught me how to think critically and to not be afraid.”

At the ceremony, Troy spoke about overcoming a difficult childhood, and how her sister’s help gave her the drive to get an education and graduate with a four-year degree. She told her story to inspire the Class of 2017 and said “You can do anything you set your mind to.”

Netzhammer congratulated the graduating class and said that the past year was one of the most joyous years at the university. Netzhammer also said that WSU Vancouver accounted for more than a quarter of graduating Cougars statewide. Netzhammer talked about the goals of the university and how the graduates play an integral part in reaching them. He then conferred on the graduating students their diplomas.

The Class of 2017 then proceeded across the stage to symbolically receive their degrees. Each graduate’s name was read to applause and cheers from the audience. After the processional had ended, Troy led all students in turning the tassel on their caps, and the assembled graduates became official WSU Vancouver alumni. Graduates then marched out of the auditorium to meet with family and friends and to celebrate their accomplishment.


Photos by Zeke Estes unless otherwise noted. https://www.flickr.com/gp/thevancougar/R2E5T0

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