The weather was perfect for the 151 Wilson graduates earning bachelor’s or associate degrees and the 97 receiving master’s degrees the morning of Sunday, May 19.

College President Barbara K. Mistick reminded the audience that this year’s commencement celebration was a particularly special one, coinciding as it did with the 150th anniversary of the College’s founding in 1869, which represents a milestone in the life of the College. “We have watched you grow in so many ways during your time here, learning to think and act with bold intention," she told graduates. "We share your sense of triumph and are all very proud of your many achievements. I hope you set your sights high, act boldly and challenge yourselves.”

149th Annual Commencement Ceremony

“We did it!” Natasha Goessel told her fellow graduates from the podium. She had earned her bachelor of arts degree, with the support of Wilson’s Adult Degree Program—a program designed to help people who’ve been out of high school for at least four years go to college. Her Wilson journey began as “a woman, on her own, the sole provider and caretaker of two little kids. A woman who was now determined to change her entire life and then did.” It ended as a proud Wilson College Phoenix. “Step boldly into your future, even if you're not sure what that is yet because that's ok,” she said. “The truth is, it changes every day with the choices you make. Congratulations, Class of 2019!”

After receiving an honorary Doctor of Laws from the College, Laura Stein, executive vice president and general counsel at The Clorox Co., delivered the commencement address. She talked about the importance of being both bold and kind and advised the graduating class to focus their energy on their passions and big plans instead of wasting time on backup plans or thinking about reasons to play it safe.

Class of 2019 President Marissa Rankin and Vice President Dana Kessler presented the College with a gift of $4,000 on behalf of the senior class to build a recreational area for students. It will be called the “Odds Quad” and will have a fire pit, horseshoe pit, tables and seating where students can play games and socialize.

Published: May 20, 2019