Shepherd graduates 551

May 24, 1998|By CLYDE FORD

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Tracie Wilt thought the day would never arrive when she would get the chance to cross the stage to get her diploma.

But with the help of her husband, her family and her in-laws, Wilt was able to get her bachelor's degree in accounting and also raise two children, a two-year-old son and a seven-month-old daughter.

"I just feel really good. I've accomplished this with two kids at home," said Wilt, 23, of Charles Town, W.Va.

Wilt was one of 551 graduates Saturday at Shepherd College's 125th graduation ceremony.

More than 2,500 watched the ceremonies.

Commencement speaker Clifford M. Trump, chancellor of the West Virginia State College System, gave the graduates a "Top 10" list of advice to take with them.

His first tip - "Live off your parents as long as possible" - drew a laugh from the students and a few good-natured groans from some parents in the audience.


"This is the most important hindsight with everyone except the parents," Trump said.

He told the graduates to enjoy life for a while before plunging into the workplace grind.

Other tips included:

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Challenge what is known and embrace what is unknown.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Learn to speak a foreign language.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Don't get married too soon. "Thirty two is about the right age," he said.

"I've known people who have married too young, but I don't know one person who married too late," he said.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Be willing to be incompetent. Trump told the graduates that it is good to take on tasks even when they have no skills. Winning is important, but, sometimes, losing in an impossible task also can have importance.

"The unexamined life may not be worth living, but the unlived life is not worth examining," Trump said.

HEIGHT="6" ALT="* " NATURALSIZEFLAG="0" ALIGN="BOTTOM"> Enjoy family and friends before they are gone. "I predict children will bring the greatest joy in your life - especially if they graduate college in four years," he said.

Stacie Inskeep, 26, of Shepherdstown, said she was glad to finally be completing her bachelor's of arts degree after five years in school.

"It's kind of surreal right now. It will finally hit me when I get my diploma," Inskeep said before the ceremony.

Inskeep said she eventually plans to go to graduate school to become a counselor.

Amy Warrenfeltz, 22, of Boonsboro, said she is looking for a job working for the government in foster care and adoption services.

She graduated earlier in the academic year with a bachelor's degree in sociology, but decided to participate in the graduation ceremony Saturday so her parents could see her.

"I wanted to do it for them because they helped me so much," Warrenfeltz said.

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