6:00: Morning News

Marshall to host in-person graduations with new President Smith Saturday

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — More than 1,300 students are set to graduate from Marshall University this weekend.

Marshall is preparing to host indoor ceremonies for May graduates for the first time since 2019. Virtual ceremonies took place in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In-person ceremonies were brought back outdoors in May 2021 and indoors in Dec. 2021.

Two commencement ceremonies for undergraduate, graduate, and doctorate students take place Saturday at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. at the Mountain Health Arena in Huntington.

The 9 a.m. ceremony will be for the College of Business, College of Education and Professional Development, College of Science, College of Engineering and Computer Sciences and Doctor of Nursing Anesthesia Practice and Management.’

The 2 p.m. ceremony will be for the College of Health Professions, College of Liberal Arts, College of Arts and Media, Regents Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Physical Therapy.

Sonja Cantrell-Johnson, registrar at Marshall University, said masks are not required, but they are recommended. She said it will be special to get back to a “normal” graduation.

“There will be pictures with folks without their masks on. This is the first ceremony they’ll be able to shake hands again, so it’s just nice to get together. Our students are excited to celebrate this important event in their life,” she said.

Marshall President Brad Smith will preside over the two ceremonies.

“This is the first ceremony with our new president,” Cantrell-Johnson said. “We’ve divided the colleges so we can have enough capacity for everyone.”

The last commencement Marshall held was in December where there were still COVID precautions in place.

“Normally in December, we have one ceremony, but we did two face-to-face ceremonies just to spread out and not have as many folks in the arena at the same time,” Cantrell-Johnson said.

The ceremonies will be livestreamed for those unable to attend.

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