It was a time of jubilation, and for many, the gateway to new beginnings.
Hundreds of Cougs endured arctic-like conditions Saturday morning as loved ones filled the seats of Beasley Coliseum to witness their sons, daughters and companions graduate from the halls of Washington State University.
“Washington State University will always be your home,” President Elson S. Floyd said.
Draped in the ceremonial stole and bearing a chained medallion engraved with the names of past WSU presidents, Floyd delivered his final address to the class of Fall Commencement 2013 and provided insight into what lies ahead for the nearly 800 graduates.
“As you continue to move through the course of your lives, always remember the foundation that was underneath you and also the inspiration and the direction that you have an obligation to continue to catapult into the future,” he said.
It is about possessing the mental drive to achieve one’s dreams in order to continue a life of successes, Floyd said. Challenges will come along the way, but it’s the academic excellence of WSU that will aid in overcoming those boundaries, he said.
“We have a number of goals on the horizon, but there is no goal that is more important than to make sure that when you graduate from Washington State University, the return of the investment that you made is continued to be realized,” Floyd said. “The value of your degrees must and should continue to be enhanced each and every day.”
The two words of “thank you,” echoed throughout the coliseum, as students wearing decorated caps and gowns vocalized their gratitude to those who’ve been supported them.
Floyd recognized family members, friends and WSU faculty and staff for their contributions in guiding their paths to university achievement.
“You don’t have to become a university president to fulfill your parents’ expectation, you only need to keep moving forward to independence and a goal to making this world a better place for your achievements,” he said.
For Abdul Aziz Al Amri, graduating from WSU has been a journey he will never forget. Amri holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.
“I’ve been waiting for this feeling for a long time,” he said.
Amri said he’s not saying goodbye to Pullman forever.
“After having a job for two years I’ll come back for graduate school,” he said.
Marcia Matkin came to watch her son Taylor Garvin, who graduated on Saturday with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering. She said following his progress as a Coug has been a rewarding experience.
“In the process he married and had two children, so he was still be able to meet his goal, be in love and have his family,” Matkin said. “It’s amazing to see the process and the end and the reward.”
Garvin has a job lined up with a company in Bellevue, she said.
Matkin attributed the success of her son to the school surrounded by wheat fields.
“WSU has been such a great fit for him,” she said. “I’m really excited to witness Taylor complete his dream.”