Two SPS Students Among Commencement Marshal Lineup

Apr 30, 2024

Friends Jamie Luersen and Yomeaquea Martin will serve as marshals during the 2024 WPU commencement.Yomeaquea Martin jokes that she was tricked into going back to school by Jamie Luersen.

The duo work together at Northwoods Elementary School in Cary. For the longest time, the principal tried to convince Martin to go back. One day he suggested she have a chat with Luersen, who was about to enroll in the School of Professional Studies program at WPU.

The rest is history.

Luersen, who enrolled in the spring of 2022, and Martin, who enrolled in the summer of 2022, will be the marshals for the 2024 WPU commencement ceremony. They are both getting their Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education Dual Licensure.

Luersen was a marshal last year, the first time WPU had a marshal from the SPS program.

This time around the friends will share the experience, thanks to some arm twisting from Luersen some years ago.

“For already being over 40 years old and getting that kind of achievement, being able to show that older people can work and make good grades,” Luersen said. “That’s something I’m honored to be able to show and participate in.”

Luersen is currently an Instructional Assistant in the extended content classroom, working with students who have autism. Martin works in a specialist role, teaching a class called “Readers Theater” where kids learn to read by acting out plays.

Most of their classes at WPU are online, even though they have to come on campus to take a few courses in person.

Martin said becoming a teacher is a “lifelong dream” of hers. She initially went to college in 1995, but “life got in the way.”

After talking to Luersen, who’s been making all As along with working full-time and having seven children at home, Martin, who has a family of her own, knew she had to go back. They both confirmed that a lot has to get put to the side to make it all work.

“It’s been a challenge, some things have had to go by the wayside, you know, my house isn’t as clean as it would normally be,” Luersen jokes, while Martin agrees. “It’s only for this short amount of time, then I can get back to it.”

The work besties each found out the other would be a marshal through a quick text exchange. It only made sense they would share this honor since they went through the journey of returning to school together.

“What I like about our relationship is there’s not a competition, but there is extreme support,” Martin said. “I’m so thankful to have someone to do that with because it is scary going back at this age. And the classes are not easy, it does get difficult.”

WPU commencement will be held May 11, beginning at 9:30 a.m. Former Durham mayor Bill Bell will give the commencement speech.

Give Courageously to Peace

Thanks to the generosity of William Peace University supporters, current and future WPU students have access to the resources needed to learn through immersive experiences, build upon their courage and develop the confidence needed to turn passion into purpose.
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
a student uses a laptop on a green bench at William Peace University

Give Now

Support future Pacer success. 


Become a Corporate Partner

Find out how your organization can collaborate with Peace.


Whether you’re hoping to attend WPU or hosting an event, you’re welcome to visit WPU! 

Wedding at WPU
Phantom in downtown Raleigh

Conferences and Events

Host your conference, event, or wedding at WPU.

Location and Directions

Get directions, our address, a campus map, and hotel discount information.


Learn about WPU and all it has to offer so you can guide your students to the best fit for their next step. 

Admissions Info

Meet and connect with our Admissions team.

Schedule a Visit

Learn about our processes and schedule a visit.


Our success as an institution has always been rooted in the strength of our community. As an integral part of that community, we invite alumni to stay informed and connected. 

Alumni outside at WPU
Roses float in the campus fountain after an alumni event.
Building at WPU

Get Involved

Stay connected to Peace.


Contribute to the success of future Pacers.

General Info

Read about alumni benefits.


Families are an integral part of a student’s path to WPU. Find answers to your questions here. 

Two WPU students work together on a project during class

Student Success: Why Choose WPU?

Learn about the value of an education at WPU.

Billing and Due Dates

Questions about your student’s enrollment or billing? Start here.

Current Students

Already a Pacer? Here’s your quick path to information, links, and other useful stuff.

Group of students talking
Students high-fiving each other

Current Students

Missing something? Can’t find a link? Start here.

Current Parents and Families

Is your student a Pacer? Here’s where to get information and contacts.

Future Students

Welcome to William Peace University! We offer programs for both traditional undergraduate students and online/hybrid classes through our School of Professional Studies. Find your path to WPU here.

Three WPU students walk through a brick archway on campus.
Three students discuss their work during class.
Older gentleman at a computer

First Time in College

Your WPU education will help you build practical skills for your future.

Transfer Students

Transfer up to 90 credit hours from any institution. 

Working Professionals

Enhance your existing career.

A WPU student works on a video game in the new esports and gaming lab on campus.
Woman in army green typing at computer
Two female international students


If you previously attended WPU and are ready to return, start here. 


Learn more about how to apply the GI bill.

International Students

Find out how to attend WPU.


WPU has a long history as one of the city’s oldest universities. Find out more about our institution in the heart of downtown Raleigh. 

2023 Student Showcase
Staff Pumpkin Painting


Through 160 years, William Peace University has evolved to meet the changing needs of the students we serve.


William Peace University is a small, private institution located in downtown Raleigh, NC.

Work at WPU

Join our team and see why William Peace University was voted one of the Triangle’s Best Places to Work!

DEI Staff
Design Rendering of WPU

Contact Us

Contact the University

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Learn about DEI at WPU.

Mission, Vision, and Values

Learn about WPU core tenets. 

Student Life

Whether you want to know more about on-campus events or see our residence halls, get a sense of what life is like as a student at WPU.

WPU Student on bouncy slide
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
WPU Safety Officer

Clubs, Activities and Events

Discover what’s fun at WPU.

Housing & Dining

When people say that WPU “feels like home,” we think that’s the ultimate compliment.

Safety & Security

The Office of Public Safety is committed to providing a community-friendly approach to enhancing campus safety for students, faculty and staff.

Dining room at Peace
A WPU student sits with his friends while eating at Belk dining hall.
Health and wellness at WPU


Cheer on your Pacers at their next home game.

Student Support Services

Find out how the WPU team supports the whole you.

Health and Wellness

Learn about physical and mental health services available to students.


WPU offers a mix of more than 30 degree programs and additional minors. Our courses are four credit hours each, and every course features immersive learning experiences.

A student in WPU's online School of Professional Studies works on her homework.
2023 Internship Showcase

Immersive Learning

Find out about WPU’s unique approach to learning.

Center for Student Success

Peer tutoring, a first-year success program, and an internship program are just part of why Pacers succeed. 


Start here to find out how to apply, visit, and learn more about WPU.

Before you apply:

Admissions team
students walking on campus
A student reviews scholarship and payment information in the financial aid office.

Connect with an Admission Couneslor

They’ll be your guide through the process.

Visit Campus

Get a feel for campus life.

Understand Costs

Find out about Financial aid and other options to pay for college.