Belmont College Honors the Class of 2016
St. Clairsville, OH (May 6, 2016) – Belmont College officials conferred degrees upon 227 graduates as part of the college’s 2016 spring graduation ceremony in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Hundreds of parents, extended family, faculty, and staff were present to congratulate the Class of 2016.
President Dr. Paul F. Gasparro welcomed the graduates, “I want to offer my warmest congratulations to our graduates. You have worked long and hard to be here tonight, and this ceremony is just the beginning of your future. Graduating from college is a major life accomplishment, and we are pleased to be able to share this momentous occasion with you.”
He went on to say, “Remember, no matter how far or how high you travel, you started here and you have a great foundation to build on. Tonight is your night and I hope that you enjoy and celebrate it. We are very proud of your achievement and wish you good health, happiness, and continued success in whatever path you choose for your future.”
The Class of 2016 valedictorian was Jared D. Allen of St. Clairsville, Ohio. Allen received an Associate of Science Degree and earned a grade-point-average of 4.0. He graduated with honors and serves as a member of Phi Theta Kappa, the International Honor Society for two-year colleges.
The class co-salutatorians were Cassie Feiock of Belmont, Ohio, who earned an Associate of Applied Business Degree in Accounting, Nicholas Jacobs of Big Rapids MI who earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Building Preservation/Restoration, and Nichole Burkhart of Barnesville, Ohio, who earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Civil Engineering. All three salutatorians achieved a grade-point-average of 3.98 and graduated with honors.
The keynote speaker at the commencement ceremony was The Honorable Terry Pugh, Mayor of St. Clairsville.
Pugh was elected Mayor of St. Clairsville, Ohio on Nov. 3, 2015, to serve a four-year term beginning January 1, 2016. He is a graduate of St. Clairsville High School, and a graduate of Bethany College with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Psychology. Pugh also served in the United States Army from 1969-72 as a Special Agent in Military Intelligence.
For more than 33 years, Pugh was the President and Owner of St. Clair Lawn Care. His career work experience also includes Director of investigations for Wells Fargo Investigative Services as well as Corporate Manager Security for Carrier Corporation. Pugh’s public employment began as an elected member of City Council in 2010. He held that position until 2014 when he was elected City Council President.
Speaking to the graduates Pugh said,“ Through hard work, dedication and a positive attitude you have earned the right to be a college graduate, and this ceremony is just the beginning towards your career and many future successes.”
During the graduation ceremony the Ray of Light Award was presented. This award is given each year to members of Belmont College faculty and/or staff who are nominated by students for meeting the following criteria: the employee energized the student in a special way; the employee motivated the student to succeed; the employee helped promote a learning-centered environment; and the employee made a difference in the life of the student.
The 2016 recipient of this award was Mr. Bill Knox, Associate Professor of Accounting/Business.
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