WVU graduates contemplate ‘the next big thing’

MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – By the end of the weekend nearly 4,500 will hold degrees from West Virginia University and begin, for many, the first steps in their professional lives.

Fayette County native Dalton Perdue earned a degree in Health and Well-Being at WVU. Morgantown was a very different place for Perdue, who came from a high school graduating class of 66, but he said Friday being a Mountaineer is a great source of pride and motivation.

“It’s a culture shock at first, just graduating with a Bachelor’s degree,” Perdue said. “I’m the first to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in my family, so it’s pretty big for my family.”

Perdue begins the Health Science Masters program on Monday and has plans to attend medical school after that.

Zachary Rogers came to Morgantown from Winchester, Virginia, to earn a degree in Sports and Exercise Psychology. He has plans to follow the family career path into medical sales.

“Feels good, it feels long overdue,” Rodgers said. “I’m excited to get into a job and start supporting myself, but this was the goal forever.”

Cindy Spiker said her college experience was painfully long, but very short as well. She earned a degree in Health and Well-Being and her next step will be to earn the title of physician’s assistant.

“Being part of like a huge family here- I’ve have always felt super connected to everyone,” Spiker said. “Even if you’re with strangers it feels like you’re with family.”

Owen Boachie, from Georgia, begins the next step of his life with a degree in Music Education. He said over his five years at WVU he has learned the school has an international reputation that he will be glad to continue.

“I’ll be applying for jobs from West Virginia all the way back to the East Coast for music education preferably middle school and high school,” Boachie said.

Graduate from the School of Theatre & Dance with a degree in Fine Arts and Acting, Jordan Phillips of Shepherdstown, said he will always remember football games and the camaraderie of being part of the Mountaineer family. Phillips is leaving West Virginia with a big plan.

“I am going to Sitka, Alaska for the summer to be a counselor at the Sitka Fine Arts Camp,” Phillips said. “Then I’m moving to Atlanta, Georgia to try to be an actor.”

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