BUCKHANNON, West Virginia –  West Virginia Wesleyan College recognized graduates who were members of the Black Student Union, PRISM, International Student Organization or who were a First Generation college student in a special ceremony Friday in the Virginia Thomas Law Center for the Performing Arts.

Imani Jackson ’23, of Akron, Ohio, shared how joining the Black Student Union contributed to her college experience.

“Being surrounded by people who you can relate to brings a different type of comfort to your college experience, especially for those of who are hours away from home,” she said. “Having an environment for black students to be open, speak, educate and come together on campus is one of many positive aspects of West Virginia Wesleyan.

Morgan Bennett ’23, of Canada, served as president of the ISO her senior year.

“I have been able to meet and become friends with amazing people from across the globe,” she said. “Throughout the many events here on campus, I have seen people want to celebrate their ethnicity and inspire others to do the same.”

Geneva Brown ’23, of Chesapeake City, Maryland, shared how her experiences in PRISM, helped her grow in confidence, led her to classes in the gender studies program and opened up new opportunities.

“It has been a great experience this last year as one of the more senior members of PRISM to help younger students with their journeys,” she said.

Madisyn Fox ’23, of Caldwell, West Virginia, admitted being terrified, unsure of how to make friends and how to be a college student in August 2019.

“I held tightly on to my title as a First Generation student, but I didn’t know how to wear it,” she said. “Fortunately, thanks to the resources I was afforded here at Wesleyan, my life changed quickly and I had to quickly adapt every day to keep up with it. Being surrounded by people like you, who are consistently resilient despite the odds placed against us, has inspired me and shown me that I am in the right place at the right time with the right people.”

Graduates from each of the groups received stoles or cords to represent the group or groups they participated in during their college experience.

West Virginia Wesleyan College (WVWC) is a private, four-year residential liberal arts and sciences college in Buckhannon, West Virginia. A tradition of excellence for more than 130 years, West Virginia Wesleyan is home to 14 Fulbright Scholars. The Princeton Review ranked Wesleyan one of its 2023 Best Colleges in the Southeastern Region of the United States. U.S. News & World Report’s 2022-2023 Best College Rankings designated Wesleyan seventh in Best Value – Regional Universities (South). WVWC offers students more than 40 majors and 40 minors; graduate programs in athletic training, business administration, creative writing, and nursing; 22 NCAA Division II athletic programs; multiple performing arts groups; and more than 70 organizations. Founded in 1890, the College is closely affiliated with the United Methodist Church and abides by the Wesley doctrine that emphasizes service to others. For more information, visit wvwc.edu.