May 13, 2024

Congratulations, Graduates!

commencement student speaker, Amah Dunor In multiple campus commencement ceremonies held between Friday, May 10, and Sunday, May 12, West Chester University graduated 3,198 students: 2,421 undergraduate students and 777 graduate-level students.

Combined with the numbers of graduates from the University’s fall commencement last December, WCU has graduated a total of 4,365 students (both undergraduate and graduate) for the academic year 2023-2024: 3,315 undergraduates and 1,050 graduates.

Student speakers at each of the ceremonies shared reflections, anecdotes about growth, and gratitude for those who made it possible for them to attain their degrees.

Amah Dunor had the unique distinction of being the student speaker at two of the University’s three graduate-level commencement ceremonies this year: one for the graduate-degree candidates at the Philadelphia site and one on main campus for graduates of the College of Business & Public Management. On Saturday, May 11, he and his family and guests had just enough time to celebrate in Philadelphia after the 12 p.m. ceremony before coming to West Chester for the 6 p.m. ceremony.

Dunor earned a master’s degree in public administration through the Philadelphia site and served as both president of the Graduate Student Association (two terms) and vice president of WCU’s first-generation student honors society, Tri-Alpha. A passionate advocate for community development and social change, he was born in Liberia and brings a diverse cultural background and a deep appreciation for the power of collective action to his roles on campus and beyond.

In his address, he spoke about “a pivotal experience from my past, one that shaped the course of my journey and ultimately led me to this moment.

“When I was in fifth grade, a teacher told me that I would be a high school dropout. Though I went through a moment of disbelief at those words, I made a choice then to not prove her wrong, but to prove right all those who believed in me. I share this story to illustrate a larger point: that life is full of challenges and obstacles, but it’s how we respond to them that truly matters. It’s also about what we choose as our motivation. Rather than the anger I felt at those teacher’s words, I chose to be motivated by the love of family and friends, by the people who cared for and supported me. … It’s up to us to turn those negatives into positives, to find strength in adversity, and to keep pushing forward no matter what.”

Visit this link for recordings of all the ceremonies.


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