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Graduation Information

Class of 2017
May Commencement

WVU Coliseum
Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 5 p.m.

RSVP to walk in the May Commencement Ceremony

The College of Business and Economics Commencement ceremony is Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 5:00 p.m. in the WVU Coliseum. This ceremony is for students who have completed their degree(s) in August 2016, December 2016, or May 2017. Students intending to complete their degree(s) in August 2017 are also invited to participate in this ceremony. Tickets are not required, there is no cost to attend the ceremony, and there is no limit to the number of guests students may invite. Seating is on a first come, first serve basis.

For complete information regarding May 2017 Commencement, please visit the University website

Application for Graduation and Diploma

May 2017 graduating students are required to complete an online Application for Graduation and Diploma which is accessible through their DegreeWorks page. The deadline to apply for May 2017 Commencement is March 03, 2017. Students who miss the deadline may apply for August 2017 graduation. The Commencement program will include only the names of students who will receive their degree(s) in May 2017. The names of August 2016 and December 2016 graduates will not appear in the May program.

Students may confirm receipt of their graduation application by checking their DegreeWorks account at least 24 hours after submission. The date of graduation, May 2017, will appear beneath Academic Standing in the Graduation Application box.

Diplomas will be mailed after all grades are finalized and certified by the WVU Office of the University Registrar.

Fees and Fines

All account balances must be resolved prior to release of a student’s transcript and diploma.

Ceremony Attendance

Students are required to wear caps and gowns which may be purchased through the WVU Bookstore, or online through Herff Jones at

Graduates should arrive at the Coliseum for check-in approximately one hour before the ceremony. Registration and line-up is in the Basketball Practice Facility.

To arrange accommodations for graduates or guests with disabilities, please contact WVU’s Office of Accessibility Services at 304-293-6700.

Students who qualify for Latin honors (cum laude, magna cum laude, or summa cum laude) may pick up honor cords at the registration area. If you are not attending the Commencement ceremony, you may pick up honor cords at the Office of Undergraduate Programs and Advising (B&E Building, Room 358) the week prior to graduation.

All veterans/military personnel may pick up military honor cords at the WVU Veterans Office.

Questions? Please contact Susan Catanzarite at or call 304-293-4959, or contact University Events at

Commencement Speaker: Don Panoz

Don Panoz

The accomplishments of Dr. Donald E. Panoz are the epitome of the entrepreneurial dream.

The son of a winning prizefighter, Panoz was born in Ohio and raised in a small West Virginia town. After attending Greenbrier Military Academy and a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, Panoz studied pharmacy at the University of Pittsburgh. Don Panoz’s career began in 1961 when he and Army buddy and fellow West Virginia University alum Milan “Mike” Puskar founded Milan Pharmaceuticals in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., making Panoz the youngest president of a pharmaceutical company in the United States. Milan evolved into Mylan and became one of the world’s leading producers of generic drugs. The company now sells an estimated 1,300 products to more than 140 countries and territories

In the 1970s, at the age of 34, Panoz moved his family to Ireland, his mother’s birthplace, where he founded Élan Corp. Its most famous development was the transdermal method of medication delivery – the technology that led to the nicotine patch. After going public in 1985, Élan set Wall Street records with three consecutive years of 100% profit growth. Élan was the first Irish company to be publicly listed on the U.S. stock exchange; today Panoz retains over 300 pharmaceutical industry patents.

In 1980, Panoz and his wife returned to the United States and turned their attention to building world-class resorts – the first of which was Chateau Elan Winery & Resort located just north of Atlanta, GA. Following this success, Panoz built St. Andrews Bay Golf Resort & Spa located in the birthplace of golf – St. Andrews, Scotland – and Diablo Grande Winery & Resort in northern California and Chateau Elan Resort and Golf Course Hunter Valley, Australia.

His involvement in motorsports came as a result of his son Danny’s launching of a sports car company, Panoz Auto Development. The Panoz Esperante street car won many championships, including the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans.

As owner of the American Le Mans Series and three racetracks (Sebring International Raceway, Road Atlanta and Mosport International Raceway), Panoz had prominent holdings in virtually every division of motorsports.

The first Panoz race team venture started with the Panoz GTR-1 in 1997. With support and encouragement from major sports car manufacturers such as Porsche and BMW, Panoz founded the American Le Mans Series – the leading sports car series in the world.

Panoz also is a hybrid racing pioneer. In 1998 he unveiled the world’s first successful hybrid race car, which raced at the 1998 Petit Le Mans race. In 2006 a Panoz Esperante GT LM race car won both the 12 Hours of Sebring and the 24 Hours of Le Mans, and Panoz was awarded the coveted Spirit of Le Mans award by the L’Automobile Club d L’Ouest, organizer of the annual 24 Hours of Le Mans.

Panoz also is chairman emeritus of the board for Nanolumens, a designer and manufacturer of large-format LED displays. He also founded SICOR Inc., a California-based pharmaceutical company, and co-founded HydroMentia, a water treatment technology company. Today Panoz is and chairman of DeltaWing Technology Group.

In 2013, Panoz became the 29th inductee into the Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame, and he is a 2014 recipient of the Motorsports Hall of Fame of America’s Bob Russo Heritage Award. Panoz has been inducted into West Virginia University’s College of Business and Economics Hall of Fame.

Born into a very poor family during the depression Don Panoz appreciates his success and is dedicated to giving back. He is known as Dr. Panoz as a result of his dedication and philanthropic contributions to Lynn University in Florida, Panoz Institute at Trinity College in Dublin, Ireland, the University of Georgia and West Virginia University. Panoz served on the board of directors for the Irish university renowned for his pharmaceutical program and received an honorary doctorate. In 2009 Panoz joined other motorsports icons to give considerable financial support to “Malaria No More” to end malaria infestations in third world countries.