SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - Nearly 500 Shepherd College students picked up diplomas for bachelors and associates degrees at the college's 126th commencement exercises Saturday.
The commencement speaker was Franklin D. Cleckley, a former West Virginia Supreme Court Justice who was the first African American to serve on the court. He teaches law at West Virginia University.
Cleckley was introduced by David L. Dunlop, Shepherd president, who said the speaker was widely known in legal circles for his writings on the law.
In his remarks, Cleckley told the graduates assembled in the college gymnasium that he started out life in Huntington, W.Va. His mother was a preacher in the Eighth Avenue Church of God in that city on the Ohio River. Cleckley said he tried to follow in her footsteps by attending Anderson University in Indiana to pursue a divinity degree.