WKU recognizes fall 2023 graduates
- WKU News
- Friday, December 8th, 2023
Western Kentucky University recognized fall 2023 graduates in three ceremonies on Friday at Diddle Arena.
WKU conferred 997 degrees – 16 doctoral, 195 master’s, two specialist, 733 bachelor’s and 51 associate – as well as 48 undergraduate and 32 graduate certificates.
The 8 a.m. ceremony included graduates from the Potter College of Arts & Letters and the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences. The 10:30 a.m. ceremony included graduates from the Ogden College of Science & Engineering and Gordon Ford College of Business. The 1 p.m. ceremony included graduates of the College of Health and Human Services.
Each ceremony featured the conferral of degrees, congratulatory remarks from the college deans, recognition of first-generation graduates and honor graduates, and individual recognition of graduates. Fall 2023 graduates also are invited to attend the 2024 Commencement Ceremony on May 2. (More: Recognition ceremonies photo album)
Posthumous degree awards
President Timothy C. Caboni and college deans made special degree presentations to family members of three students who passed away this year.
- The College of Education and Behavioral Sciences awarded a Doctor of Education degree to Rosemary Ofili. “Rosemary was pursuing her doctorate in educational leadership,” Dean Corinne Murphy said. “Her dissertation was titled, ‘Emotional Intelligence and Leadership Styles in Medicine.’ Conscientious and focused, she wanted her research to make a difference in the lives of others.” President Caboni presented Ofili’s degree to her brother, Anselm Ikemefune Okwusogu.
- The Ogden College of Science and Engineering awarded a Bachelor of Science degree to Ayanna Morgan. “Ayanna was an energetic, bright, friendly student in our Department of Agriculture and Food Sciences, where she specialized in animal science,” Dean David Brown said. “She planned to use her degree to become a zookeeper in a progressive animal care facility and serve the community.” President Caboni presented Morgan’s degree to family members Misha Baskerville and Veronica Hiriams.
- The College of Health and Human Services awarded a Bachelor of Science degree to Daishyera Garner. “Daishyera was a vibrant and creative student in our Department of Applied Human Sciences, where she specialized in Fashion Merchandising,” Dean Tania Basta said. “She joined WKU in fall 2019, with dreams of becoming a fashion designer.” President Caboni presented Garner’s degree to family members Chandra Caggins and Jami Thompson.
Ogden Foundation Scholar
Annah Hopkins, a Biology major and member of the WKU Soccer team from Evansville, Indiana, was recognized as the Ogden Foundation Scholar during the 10:30 a.m. ceremony. WKU’s top undergraduate academic award is presented to one graduating baccalaureate degree senior who has demonstrated exceptional academic achievement and outstanding university and civic engagement.
“In addition to her scholastic endeavors, Annah shares her time mentoring elementary school students, volunteering at Med Center Health, and teaching Sunday school at her church. Her plans are to pursue medical school at the University of Louisville,” Provost Bud Fischer said.
The Hilltopper Army ROTC Program commissioned three graduates as second lieutenants in the U.S. Army. Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Struzik, Professor of Military Science, administered the oath of office to the following cadets (name, hometown, first duty assignment): Nathan Baldwin of Lexington, assigned to Fort Sill, Oklahoma; Sheldon Goins of Bowling Green, assigned to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri; Leilani Lei-Sam of Bowling Green, assigned to Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
WKU also recognized veterans and members of the graduating class who are serving or have served in the military.
Scholars of the College
WKU recognized 16 fall 2023 graduates as Scholars of the College. The Scholar of the College is the baccalaureate degree student in each undergraduate college with the highest cumulative overall grade-point average and a minimum of 60 semester hours earned in residence.
- Cassie Boddeker of Bowling Green is Scholar of the College of Health and Human Services with a major in Sports Management. Boddeker is the daughter of Jeff and Tammy Younglove and Paul and Natalie Boddeker.
- Lilian Davis of Owensboro is Scholar of the Ogden College of Science and Engineering with a major in Computer Science. Davis is also a graduate of the Mahurin Honors College and is the daughter of John Davis Jr. and Brandy Davis.
- Nathan Hood of Glasgow is Scholar of the Gordon Ford College of Business with a major in Accounting. Hood is also a graduate of the Mahurin Honors College and is the son of Jamie Hood.
- Annah Hopkins of Evansville, Indiana, is Scholar of the Ogden College of Science and Engineering with a major in Biology. Hopkins is also a graduate of the Mahurin Honors College and is the daughter of Eric and Amanda Hopkins.
- Alexandra Ingram of Newburgh, Indiana, is Scholar of the College of Health and Human Services with a major in Communication Sciences and Disorders. Ingram is the daughter of Kevin and Christina Ingram.
- Keegan Lampley of Hendersonville, Tennessee, is Scholar of the Ogden College of Science and Engineering with a major in Electrical Engineering. Lampley is also a graduate of the Mahurin Honors College and is the son of Mary and Matt Lampley.
- Kylie Milam of Summer Shade is Scholar of the College of Education and Behavioral Sciences with a major in Elementary Education. Milam is the daughter of Kim and Kevin Milam.
- Lilyana Rummo of Franklin, Tennessee, is Scholar of the College of Education and Behavioral Science with a major in Psychology. Rummo is the daughter of Paul and Rebecca Rummo.
- Grace Salloum of Westerville, Ohio, is Scholar of two colleges, the Ogden College of Science and Engineering with a major in Psychological Science and the Potter College of Arts & Letters with a major in Criminology. Salloum is also a graduate of the Mahurin Honors College and is the daughter of Cam and Dena Salloum.
- Hadley Smith of Cedar Grove, Tennessee, is Scholar of the Potter College of Arts & Letters with a major in Visual Studies. Smith is the daughter of Christopher and Michele Smith.
- Carson Sturgill of Bowling Green is Scholar of the Gordon Ford College of Business with a major in Finance. Sturgill is the son of Jim and Edyee Sturgill.
- Mackenzie Sweatt of Owensboro is Scholar of the Ogden College of Science and Engineering with a major in Biochemistry. Sweatt is also a graduate of the Mahurin Honors College and is the daughter of Terry Sweatt and Sylvia Sweatt.
- Gracie Taylor of Tompkinsville is Scholar of the College of Education and Behavioral Science with a major in Elementary Education. Taylor is the daughter of Jon and Sarah Taylor.
- Reagan R. Varner of Bowling Green is Scholar of the Gordon Ford College of Business with a major in Management. Varner is the spouse of John Varner Jr. and the daughter of Shannon and Heather Fletcher.
- Elianna Yankee of Portland, Tennessee, is Scholar of the Potter College of Arts & Letters with majors in Political Science and International Affairs. Yankee is also a graduate of the Mahurin Honors College, is the daughter of Philip Yankee and Cynthia Yankee.
- Justice ben Yosef of Bowling Green is Scholar of the Ogden College of Science and Engineering with a major in Biochemistry.
- Doctoral degree recipients included: Doctor of Education -- Faustin M. Busane, Laura Beth Hayes, Roderick C. Maul, Rosemary E. Ofili, Michelle E. Patrick, and Ibrahima Fatin Yaro; Doctor of Nursing Practice -- Courtney E. Stewart. (Note: Dissertation/project titles in program)
- Sedrik Newbern, president-elect of the WKU Alumni Association Board of Directors, welcomed graduates to the WKU Alumni family.
- Vocalist Darcy Howser, Music Education major, led the National Anthem, accompanied by the WKU Brass Ensemble, directed by Dr. Gary Schallert. ASL signing was provided by Kirsten Hooks, a graduating Master of Business Administration student, and Isabelle Blackman, an American Sign Language Studies minor and Health Sciences major.
- The December graduates included 33 student-athletes.
Contact: Registrar, (270) 745-3351
Western Kentucky University prides itself on positioning its students, faculty and staff for long term success. As a student-centered, applied research university, WKU helps students expand on classroom learning by integrating education with real-world applications in the communities we serve. Our hilltop campus is located in Bowling Green, Kentucky, which was recently named by Reader’s Digest as one of the nicest towns in America, just an hour’s drive from Nashville, Tennessee.