HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — More than 1,500 students are graduating from Marshall University this month and most of them are expected to participate in one of two scheduled commencement ceremonies this Saturday in Huntington.

“I look forward to seeing the faces of the graduates as they come across the stage,” said Doctor Jerome Gilbert, president of Marshall University, who will greet each of the graduates.

“It’s an exciting time for all of us.”

In all, 1,076 undergraduate degrees and 448 graduate degrees will be conferred during what is the 182nd Commencement.

For the first time, graduates have been split by colleges encompassing all degree levels instead of the previous undergraduate and graduate students delineation for the May 11 ceremonies at the Big Sandy Superstore Arena.

“Last year, we saw that the undergraduate ceremony which was held in the morning had so many people in it that many of the parents and friends couldn’t get seats and it was so crowded that we needed to make a change,” Gilbert said.

This year’s schedule is as follows:

9 a.m.
– Lewis College of Business
– College of Education and Professional Development
– College of Information Technology and Engineering
– College of Science
– Graduate College (for degrees in all of the colleges listed)

2 p.m.
– College of Arts and Media
– College of Health Professions
– College of Liberal Arts
– Regents Bachelor of Arts
– Graduate College (for degrees in all of the colleges listed)

“I love to hear the families cheer the graduates on because I think it’s a celebration,” Gilbert said.

“We need to celebrate these graduates. Many of them are first-time college students and it’s a big event.”

Susan Hellems Lavenski, CEO of Charles Ryan Associates and a two-time Marshall graduate, was the scheduled keynote speaker for both ceremonies.

During the Saturday morning event, Oshel Craigo, CEO of Tudor’s Biscuit World and Gino’s Pizza and Spaghetti, a former state lawmaker and a past member of Marshall’s Board of Governors, was slated to be presented with an honorary degree.

“Oshel Craigo has been a strong supporter of Marshall University for many years,” Gilbert said of the recognition.

The Saturday ceremonies were going to be available to watch HERE.

Other graduation ceremonies in Huntington included the School of Pharmacy Commencement and School of Nursing Recognition Ceremony on Thursday along with the Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine Doctoral Investiture and Commencement and Brad D. Smith Graduate School of Business Hooding Ceremony on Friday.