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Commencement 2015, through the eyes of B&E’s new alumni

Every year, commencement weekend at West Virginia University is a time for reflection, laughter, last hugs with professors – and above all, the feeling of pride among graduates, their family and friends.

The College of Business & Economics May 2015 Commencement was on Saturday, May 16. A total of 543 students – undergraduate, graduate and doctoral included – assembled in the WVU Coliseum for the ceremony, along with thousands of family members, friends and mentors there to watch them.

The 2015 Commencement speaker for B&E was Doug Van Scoy, former Smith Barney senior executive and current founder and partner of Pit Partners. Van Scoy graduated from WVU with his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1966 and master’s degree in 1968, and gave the students wise advice based on his own experiences since graduation day.

“There have been numerous success stories coming from those seats where you are sitting. Dean Sartarelli and his faculty have prepared you for success, and whether you achieve it or not is up to you,” Van Scoy said. “You can compete with anybody, I know that for a fact.

“My definition of success has nothing to do with money. It has to do with your sense of accomplishment, achievement and well-being. It matters most how you feel about yourself.”

Van Scoy’s speech was followed with the awarding of his honorary doctorate degree in business by Dean Jose “Zito” Sartarelli and WVU President Gordon Gee.

Kevin Langue, a 2015 marketing graduate from just outside of Paris, France, also took the stage to address his fellow graduates. 

“The first thing I have to do is congratulate the entire class of 2015. We made it! After about four years, eight semesters, 120 credits, and Accounting 201 with Professor Lynch, we finally made it,” Langue said.

“I can say, without a doubt in my mind, that the past four years at WVU have been the best years of my life and I truly hope that resonates with my classmates. Although we all have a different story, different backgrounds and different beliefs, after today we will all have one thing in common: we will all be WVU Graduates. Now that is something that can never be taken away from you.”

Dean Sartarelli also gave his final commencement speech to the students before his departure from the university. 

“Class of 2015, you are the last graduating class I will address as dean of B&E. For that, you will always have a special place in my heart,” Dean Sartarelli said. “My time here has been a wonderful experience, full of many achievements and successes. As I look out at all of you in your academic garb, one word sums up how I feel… wow. You all have made it, and I’m so proud.”

The Class of 2015 went out with one last sing-along of “Country Roads” before they parted ways to their bright futures.

Just as they would during any other momentous occasion in their lives, the graduates made sure to preserve their graduation memories for life on social media through tweets, photos and videos on Twitter and Instagram by using #WVUgrad and tagging B&E at @wvucobe. Below is a compilation of their memories on graduation day, from their perspective and their own smartphones, via Storify.