On Saturday, about 900 students received diplomas from Ohio University at Fall Commencement.

The ceremony honored those earning doctoral, master’s, bachelor’s and associate's degrees.

OU President Duane Nellis opened the ceremony talking about how being in college packs a lot of experiences into a short number of years. 

Many of the lessons the graduates have learned are not necessarily gleaned from textbooks, but from interactions with one another, Nellis said. He asked the graduates: who do you want to be after today? 

“The world doesn’t stop evolving and neither should you,” Nellis said.

Nellis encouraged students to remember that these students will always be bobcats.

“No matter how far from this university you roam, Athens will always be your home,” Nellis said. “No matter how much the world changes, everyone in this room will continue to share a common bond that will never be broken: we are an always will be bobcats.”

Executive Vice President and Provost Chaden Djalali recognized the faculty members that have played a role in the students’ lives. He thanked them for their dedication to students.

“(Faculty members) have helped freshman overcome homesickness and seniors overcome interview anxiety,” Djalali said.

Nancy Stevens, the commencement speaker and professor in the Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, compared the work of the students to her work as an anthropologist. 

OU’s first graduating class studied without many of the things that are taken for granted now. Light bulbs and telephones were not commercially available, Stevens said.

Stevens said that OU is a special place because people are working together to make a difference, across disciplines.

Take time to discover new things and see the connections. Do what really matters, Stevens said.

“So many unique human capabilities are being celebrated today from music to mathematics, education to engineering, finance to French language, poetry to particle physics,” Stevens said.