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West Virginia Northern Community College (WVNCC) will celebrate the success of their graduates during the 49th Annual Commencement on May 14, 2021, at 7 p.m. at Wheeling Island Stadium. The ceremony will include graduates from 2021 plus the class of 2020 who had their ceremony moved to a virtual format last year amidst the pandemic. To accommodate social distancing guidelines, the ceremony has been moved outdoors to Wheeling Island Stadium. Three hundred and twelve students from the class of 2021 are eligible to receive certificates and degrees, and the two hundred and ninety students who graduated in 2020 have been invited to walk across the stage this year as well. Ms. Rosemary Ketchum, a WVNCC alumnus, will deliver the commencement address. Paulayna Zias, the 2020 Valedictorian, and Gabriela Tourney, the 2021 Valedictorian, will both address the audience.
Ketchum is a member of the City Council of Wheeling, West Virginia representing Ward 3. Ketchum serves as the Chief Operations Officer of the Holistic Youth Wellness Coalition, Edible Mountain. She is also on the Board of several organizations, including the West Virginia Center on Budget and Policy. Ketchum has been a returning guest on MSNBC and has been profiled by several outlets including The Today Show, Time Magazine, and CNN for her work in community organizing and politics. In 2018, Ketchum received the Community Superstar award from the Healthy Kids and Families Coalition. In 2019, Ketchum was featured in West Virginia Living magazine’s Wonder Woman issue for her work in community organizing. Last year, Ketchum was awarded the Outstanding Young West Virginian Award by the West Virginia Jaycees.
During the ceremony, WVNCC President, Dr. Daniel Mosser, will welcome the graduating class. WVNCC’s Provost, Dr. Jill Loveless, will serve as the Mistress of Ceremonies. Local musician, Mitch Spurlock, will perform the music selections, and the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award will be presented.