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The largest graduating class in the history of West Virginia Northern Community College, 407 students, will be led by Nathan Schmidt of Martins Ferry as valedictorian for the class of 2013. The students will be receiving 491 degrees because some graduates will be receiving more than one degree.
The 2013 class is the largest of the higher education institutions in the Upper Ohio Valley. Commencement exercises for WVNCC will be conducted at 7 p.m. Friday at WesBanco Arena, Wheeling.
The commencement address will be delivered by U.S. Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld II of Wheeling. Remarks will be given by Schmidt, who will be presented with the Donald D. Nemanich and Sarah O. Bodkin Academic Excellence Award. The award is given by the faculty at Northern to honor the memory of two of their colleagues who died at early ages, leaving a legacy of classroom excellence.
Other speakers will include Clayton Weeks of Wintersville, Student Government Association president, who will offer greetings on behalf of students, and Pam Sharma, physics/mathematics professor, president of the Faculty Assembly, who will bring greetings on behalf of faculty. Also participating will be Dr. Martin J. Olshinsky, president of Northern; Dr. Vicki Riley, vice president of academic affairs; and Dr. Darrell Cummings, president of the WVNCC Board of Governors, who will confer degrees and certificates.
Schmidt, 22, is the son of Daniel and Heidi Schmidt. He was born in Colorado Springs, Colo., and his family moved to Martins Ferry when he was 11.
Schmidt attended WVNCC from August 2010 to December 2012, earning an associate in applied science degree in Business Studies, Executive Administrative Assistant Option. He participated in student activities including the Student Government Association, Wheeling Campus Activities Board, Phi Theta Kappa, and peer mentoring. While a student, he worked for the WVNCC Admissions Office as well as the Academic Success Center.
In Student Government, he was elected Financial Secretary and later Student Representative to the Board of Governors. His honors and awards include the Executive Administrative Assistant Program Award, Phi Theta Kappa West Virginia All-State Community College Academic Team, Outstanding Student Leader and President’s List.
Schmidt says he enjoys listening to classical music and reading great works of literature. His favorite composer is Bach, and his favorite authors are William Shakespeare and Tim O’Brien. He plays a Yamaha keyboard and is fascinated by mathematics. He currently is continuing his education at Wheeling Jesuit University where he is pursuing a bachelor of science degree in Accounting.