Shepherd College graduates 584


Sacrifice was the recurring theme of the 129th Commencement exercises at Shepherd College Saturday afternoon.

The sacrifices of the military to keep America strong and free permeated the keynote address of W.Va. Adjutant General Allen E. Tackett of the West Virginia National Guard.

"I promised not to talk solely about the military," Tackett said as he began his address to a standing-room-only crowd at the college's Butcher Center. He quickly added that would it be difficult since the history of America is so intertwined with its military history.

All military personnel, past and present, were asked to stand and be recognized. They were met with thunderous applause.

Tackett noted that 800 West Virginians were mobilized after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and are doing their part to keep America safe and free.


"Service before self is one of the hallmarks of the military," Tackett said to the graduates. "And it is something we all need to remember in our daily lives."

Tackett challenged the 584 graduates to make the most of themselves and use the education they obtained at Shepherd College to better their lives and the world.

Laura Pope of Bakerton, W.Va., had a daughter-in-law graduating Saturday. Last year it was her son who walked across the stage to receive his Shepherd diploma.

Jaclyn Bourdreau Bocchetti of Bolivar, W.Va., who received a bachelor of science degree in nursing, learned Friday that she has been offered her dream job, Pope said.

"She applied for obstetrics at Frederick (Md.) Memorial Hospital and she got it," Pope said.

In 2001, Pope and her husband, John, watched their son, Christopher Bocchetti, graduate from Shepherd with a biology degree.

"Shepherd is a great school," Pope said Saturday. "We have a long Shepherd College tradition with many family members going here."

Later in the commencement exercises, diplomas were awarded to the fall class of 2001 and spring class of 2002 by Shepherd President David L. Dunlop; Vice President Mark Stern; Peter Checkovich, provost of the Community and Technical College; and Barbara Pichot, chairwoman of the Shepherd College board of governors.

Tackett received an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Following the commencement exercises, a reception was held on the Butcher Center Plaza.

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