MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — Across a 72-hour span, nearly 4,500 undergraduates, grad students, and doctoral students will have their names called to honor their completed work at West Virginia University.

“Proud as a peacock,” said Rex Bound, a Weston native seeing his daughter graduate with her Doctorate in Pharmacy Studies. “It’s been a long seven years and she’s earned it all.”

“She’s been driven all a long.”

Bound said his daughter Taylor spent all of her undergrad years and her doctoral years at WVU.

“She was born for Morgantown, and Morgantown was made for her.”

Kelsie Hines, a Webster County native who also earned her doctoral degree in Pharmacy Studies, said she’s looking forward to spending one more year in Morgantown before she can take her talents back to Webster County.

“It’s such a wonderful feeling,” she said. “We worked so hard and went through so much to get here.”

One more year of residency aside, Hines said she wants to return home.

“Ultimately I would like to go back to rural West Virginia,” she said.

Pharmacy graduates Ty Garrison and Jessica Layne, from Fairmont and Bridgeport respectively, plan on going south following their graduation.

“Not really sure where yet,” he said. “But we’ve been in West Virginia all of our lives.”

Layne said the realization that she had finished her doctorate came about very suddenly.

“Just exciting that we did a year of rotation,” Layne said. “It’s the finish line, no more tests.”

Garrison and Layne are both promise scholar recipients, and both said that helped them avoid enormous student loans.

“We have some, but we’re not too worried,” Garrison said.

Garrison said he’s excited to continue putting what they learned into practice — but in a real world setting.

“We really put all of our school work into practice this year,” Garrison said. “That was exciting.”

WVU’s commencement ceremonies end Sunday.

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