Washington and Lee Graduates 444 Students at 235th Commencement
At Washington and Lee University’s 235th Commencement ceremony on Thursday, members of the Class of 2022 were reminded by President William C. “You may not have studied leadership or citizenship,” Dudley said, “But if we have done our jobs, and you have done your jobs, you are ready to make significant contributions wherever you go, for the benefit of yourselves and your families, but also for the benefit of those less fortunate and the communities in which you live. Having the university president give the Commencement address is a custom at W&L that dates back to the 1930s. During his speech, Dudley noted that the Class of 2022’s first and last years as W&L students serve as bookends to the COVID-19 pandemic, but after drafting a “what did we learn from COVID” speech, he quickly decided he didn’t want to focus on the pandemic and tore up that draft. “I don’t want to talk about COVID,” Dudley said to cheers from the crowd. Normal at W&L doesn’t mean boring or ordinary, he said. “It is normal at Washington and Lee to have clarity of purpose – plainly expressed in our mission statement – and to hold ourselves accountable – in accordance with our motto, non incautus futuri, not unmindful of the future,” Dudley said. Dudley’s advice to graduates as they prepare to leave campus is to stay curious, keep striving and working hard in pursuit of goals, and engage with their communities. “Liberal arts education cannot possibly prepare you in advance for everything you will encounter,” he said. Mackenzie Walter ’22, secretary of the Executive Committee, spoke on behalf of the Class of 2022. Walter has served as a summer intern and a University Ambassador in the Office of Admissions, conducting campus tours, interviewing prospective students and serving on the student panel for virtual admissions events. This fall, Walter will attend Syracuse University College of Law to pursue her Juris Doctor degree.
In her speech on Thursday, Walter reflected on the quality and strength of the W&L community. “Deeply rooted traditions such as the Honor System and the Speaking Tradition have permeated our college experience and have made a fundamental impact on our personal values and the people that we are today… As the years have gone on and the roles that we play in this community have changed, my love and appreciation for this place and its people has only grown. She went on to celebrate the many lessons learned by the Class of 2022 over the past four years, encouraging her classmates to remember, as they embark on their future paths, to embrace the unknown. “The lessons we’ve learned during our four years on this campus have equipped us with the skills we will need to succeed under any circumstances,” she said. During Thursday’s ceremony, W&L conferred degrees upon 444 seniors. Three students were named valedictorians of the class: Truman Thomas Chancy, Spencer Martich Kriss and Trang Thuy “Alyssa” Vu. Truman Chancy, of Richmond, Virginia, earned a bachelor’s degree in music. Since his first year at W&L, Chancy has performed with the University Jazz Ensemble and the University Wind Ensemble. In 2020, Chancy worked as a research scholar at the Stan Kenton Research Center in Staunton, Virginia, where he built a digital database of music collections and created scholarly editions of big band scores for study and performance. In addition to his musical contributions and academic achievements, Chancy has enjoyed serving as a community assistant on the Residential Life staff for the past three years. Spencer Kriss of Versailles, Kentucky, graduates with a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry. Some of his accolades during his undergraduate career include being inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, Alpha Epsilon Healthcare Honor Society, Tri-Beta Biological Honor Society, and Phi Eta Sigma, as well as awards such as the James Holt Starling Scholarship and the Gaines Scholarship.
Outside the classroom, Kriss was a community assistant on the Residential Life team. Kriss will attend Vanderbilt Medical School in Nashville, Tennessee, this fall. Alyssa Vu earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science and a minor in data science and business analytics. Originally from Hanoi, Vietnam, Vu held three internships in software development and data science in Vietnam during her undergraduate career. Vu is a recipient of the Computer Science Department Award, won the James D. Also recognized during the Commencement ceremony was this year’s recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, Bri Mondesir of New Haven, Connecticut. As a Bonner Scholar, Mondesir completed more than 1,800 hours of community service and leadership training while at W&L. Mondesir served in leadership roles for many other organizations as well, including Students for Educational Justice, based in New Haven, Connecticut; Live Healthy Rockbridge Coalition; Community First; and the Student Judicial Council. As part of a W&L project, Mondesir also assisted Carilion Clinic with its tri-annual community health assessment for Rockbridge County, which included conducting focus groups to identify barriers to good health. For more information about Commencement and the Class of 2022, please click here.
Read full article at The Columns
- In order to reserve a seat, all graduating students planning to attend the ceremony must go to https://secure.gradsch.psu.edu/cosign/registrations/commencement/ and register.
- Graduates and guests may enter the Bryce Jordan Center through Gates A, B, or C.
Commencement in a Sentence
- Preparing her commencement speech, the Valedictorian wanted to find a moving quote to speak to her fellow graduates.
- The commencement ceremony for those graduating from the nursing program will begin at 3 pm.