#WPUGrad2018: WPU Celebrates 146th Commencement
William Peace University recently celebrated its 146th Commencement Ceremony on Saturday, May 5th, 2018.
Jamie Valvano, philanthropist, cancer survivor, and daughter of sports legend Jim Valvano, delivered the commencement address to the 250 traditional and adult professional graduates who donned their caps and gowns. She also received an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Humanities.
“That was my dad’s final gift to me, was that he started the V Foundation so that I could have hope, so that I would know that I wasn’t alone.”
Valvano delivered a memorable and impactful message, speaking of her father, the former NC State Head Basketball Coach who led the Pack on an unexpected and miraculous journey to the 1983 NCAA national championship, as well as her own personal battles in fighting cancer.
“I want you to remember the miracles that can happen when you refuse to give up,” she said.
Echoing her father’s words and message, spoken decades ago during his famous ESPY awards speech, Jamie moved the WPU audience with her words of wisdom and courage. Over the years, Jamie carried on her father’s legacy and began working for the cancer research organization founded in his honor, The V Foundation. She worked for The V Foundation in its formative years, helping to establish the world-renowned organization that has since awarded more than $200 million to cancer facilities across the United States.
“It may not save my life, it may save my children’s lives, it may save someone you love,” Jim Valvano said in his 1993 ESPY speech, just months before his death from cancer.
Ameera Khattab ’18, who served as the Student Commencement Speaker, urged fellow students to turn their dreams into action.
“We must make the intangible tangible,” Khattab said. “The ideas, passions, and dreams we have in our minds are wasted if we do not do all that is possible to make them a reality.”
The University also celebrated its second-ever commissioning of one of its graduates in Second Lieutenant Sun Jo ’18, a ROTC student, who was officially commissioned into service to the United States Air Force.
COMMENCEMENT AWARD RECIPIENTS
- Valedictorian(s): Jonas Monanteras ’18, Patrick Ralph ’18, Carson Williams ’18
- Student Commencement Speaker: Ameera Khattab ’18
- Outstanding Graduate: Ryan Appleyard ’18
- School of Professional Studies (SPS) Outstanding Graduate: Steve Glinka ’18
- McCormick Distinguished Teaching Award: Elizabeth Kusko, DA, Assistant Professor of Political Science
- Outstanding Advisor(s): Mark Cushman, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Psychology, Robin Vincent, M.Ed., Assistant Professor of Education and Field Placement Coordinator