By Alex Lang
The Dominion Post
MORGANTOWN — President Jim Clements said WVU’s December graduation was bittersweet.
Like many of the graduates, his time in Morgantown started four years ago.
Also like them, the event brought an end to his WVU career.
“I think we will all find that, although we are leaving this great university,” Clements said, “it will always, always have a special place in our hearts.”
Friday’s December Commencement marked the end of Clements’ and thousands of students’ time at WVU. The event was Clements last official act as university president. He will soon leave for the presidency at Clemson University in South Carolina.
“When our paths cross in the future,” Clements told the graduates, “if you yell ‘Let’s go’ … I will never hesitate to yell ‘Mountaineers.’ ”
Board of Governors Chairman James Dailey presented Clements with a Mountaineer statue and thanked him for his service at WVU during the ceremony.
Clements wasn’t the only prominent university official wrapping up his service to WVU and featured at Commencement. Vice President for Student Affairs Ken Gray provided the commencement address. Gray announced his retirement from the university once a successor is named.
“Graduation is a rite of passage that takes you from one phase of life to another. It’s a time to begin to fulfill your dreams,” Gray said. “Your education here at WVU has given you the opportunity to take that next step in realizing your dreams.”
The students’ education has provided the graduates with the strength and foundation to deal with many future events and decisions, Gray said.
WVU has prepared the students to realize their dreams, so the graduates need to believe in themselves and look back and draw on the strength of where they came from when faced with challenges, he said.
“Now, it’s up to you to go out and do it — to find where you ought to be and to share your gifts with the world,” Gray said.
While the two administrators were recognized, the graduating students were the focus of the thousands in attendance. Roughly 2,600 students capped off, at least part, of their higher education experiences by receiving their degrees…