MORGANTOWN, W.Va. In Morgantown, 1,423 WVU students graduated during the fall semester, but about 2,600 graduates attended the ceremonies held at the Coliseum, according to Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education Evan Widders.
“Students often attend the winter ceremony who graduated in August as well, so there are more students who attend than are graduating in the winter term,” Widders said. “Two ceremonies, really good ceremonies, and very well attended.”
Academic performance and outcomes among this group of students was up compared to past classes as the coronavirus rebound continues across the region. Across all levels, more than 3,800 students were recognized on the Dean’s List with a 3.5 GPA or higher, and more than 3,000 earned a spot on the President’s List with a GPA of 4.0.
“Our four-year graduation rate went up substantially this year, by five percentage points,” Widders said. “That means even though we had fewer undergrads on campus, more were graduating.”
Students at WVU have returned to the classroom post-pandemic with better academic results as communities learn to live with the virus. As the academic environment becomes even more normal, those trends will hopefully continue.
“We’re hoping for a big bounce from the COVID years, when we had a lot of students struggle,” Widders said. “I know COVID is still out there, unfortunately, but it seems like the day-to-day impact on our students and faculty has lessened.”
Widders said going back five years, the number of students graduating has hovered around the 1,400 mark despite the pandemic and a slight drop in enrollment.
“I was a little surprised myself; I didn’t have it on hand, so I went back and got the number of students that graduated for each ceremony over the last five years, and they are surprisingly consistent,” Widders said.