A sea of proud students, parents and family filled the Convo on Saturday as the Ohio University Class of 2017 gathered one last time before officially becoming graduates.

About 3780 graduate and undergraduate students received their degrees at the spring commencements, said OU Spokesman Dan Pittman.

Wesley Lowery, an OU alumnus and national correspondent for The Washington Post, gave the commencement speech. Lowery worked for The Post while at OU and was its editor-in-chief during the 2011-12 academic year. He had one main message to impart to the graduating students sitting before him: You’ll be fine.

“You’ll move to new places,” Lowery said. “You’ll meet new people. Your metabolism will slow down a bit.”

Lowery told the students that they have been prepared for the coming challenges by the experiences they’ve already had. He also said good can come from having the curiosity and intuition to say “yes” when opportunities present themselves, and he urged students to follow their moral compass.

“A moral compass is only as meaningful as the hand that holds it,” Lowery said.  

Sarah Boston, who graduated with a specialized studies degree, gave the student address at the morning commencement. She spoke about the closeness of Bobcats and urged students to rise to the challenges they will face after leaving OU.

“A Bobcat is more than a party animal,” Boston said. “Bobcats are a support system, a family.”

Proud families waited to greet their graduates after the ceremony. Erika Barth graduated with a Bachelor of Science in journalism.

“I’m overwhelmed, really,” her mother, Donna, said. “I’m recalling my own graduation from Ohio State.”

Jacob Hoffman, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering, already has a job set up in Cincinnati, his parents said.

“He’s our youngest,” his father, Martin, said. “He’s the baby.”

Terri McGarry and Kari Tucker attended in support of their nephew, Max Pendell, who graduated with a bachelor's degree in fine arts. They said it felt wonderful to watch him graduate.

“His mother is not here to see him graduate, so we’re here,” Tucker said. “It’s been a long road for him. He’s worked hard.”

@norajaara

nj342914@ohio.edu

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