Final WWC Graduation - Including Graduate Photos

Class of 2007 is last class to graduate from WWC

By: Becky Beddoe

Graduates at the early morning photo shoot Sunday.

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At 7:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 10, 334 college graduates met on the soggy lawn of Kretschmar Hall on the campus of Walla Walla College. However worrisome, the overcast skies at least meant no squinting as group photographs were taken.  

At 8:30, the processional began. A snaking line of black robed individuals followed WWC faculty and staff, decked out in regalia from schools around the world, to their seats on Centennial Green.

After a heartfelt welcome by WWC president John McVay, Ginger Ketting-Weller, vice president for academic administration, presented her annual statistics about the graduating class.

In 2007, 75 percent of the graduating class began at WWC as freshmen. Women and men were nearly equally represented, with 168 and 166, respectively.  

The class of 2007 has also demonstrated ambition, drive, and success, Ketting-Weller shared.  Seventy-six graduates received cum laude status, 30 received magna cum laude, and 20 achieved summa cum laude. Four students tied for the highest grade point average with a perfect 4.0.

The youngest graduate receiving an associate degree was 19 years old; the youngest receiving a bachelor's degree was 21. The oldest graduate in the class of 2007 turned 60 in December.

The three most largely represented majors in 2007 were business, with 52 graduates, nursing, with 48, and engineering, with 36.  

Several faculty and staff of WWC were recognized at Sunday's commencement ceremony. Marcia Anspach of the records office and Bob Mead of plant services were honored for their dedication to WWC and the spiritual support they have provided during their years of service.  

Jim Nestler, professor of biology, Greg Dodds, associate professor of history, and Salieann Brewer, assistant professor of nursing, were given awards for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and advising, respectively.

Bruce Johansen, professor of biblical studies, was announced as the distinguished faculty lecturer for 2007. Johansen will give a presentation to faculty, staff, and the board of trustees in November.

Melinda Hebbel, president of the class of 2007, presented the senior class gift to WWC. This year the class decided to donate money toward the new Walla Walla University sign that will be placed in front of the new administration building near the road.  

We chose this as our gift to represent the changes in our lives corresponding with the changes in store for Walla Walla College, said Hebbel. As we move from students to working members of society, the college will move from WWC to Walla Walla University. We wanted our gift to commemorate that, as we leave here as the last class to graduate from WWC.

Although the wind picked up and the sky remained dark, there was no rain as Jan Paulsen, president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, gave the commencement address. 

Paulsen encouraged the graduates to use their knowledge and skills for the better of others lives; to not waste the valuable education they had received at WWC. He urged graduates to follow the example of Jesus Christ, who lived a life of humility and service.

After all 487 graduate and undergraduate students had received their degrees, Fred Field, alumni association board chair, welcomed the graduates to the alumni association.    

To close the ceremony, the college bell rang 21 times from the top of the newly constructed administration building.

Music during the ceremony was provided by the WWC brass ensemble, directed by Brandon Beck, associate professor of music.

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