Seniors, get ready

Commencement a 'swirling vortex' of paperwork, according to 2019 graduate

With Waynesburg University’s 196 commencement approaching in less than three months, many soon-to-be graduates are cracking down on the requirements necessary to walk away with their degree.

“It’s important to maintain an awareness of the swirling vortex of paperwork surrounding graduation,” Daniel Kephart, a 2019 alumnus said. “I didn’t realize how many different steps are necessary for students to take.”

Besides the 124 credits all graduates must have completed in order to earn their degree, other requirements are obligatory. This includes, having no outstanding debts with the university, such as unpaid parking tickets and an application for graduation found in the registrar’s office.

“Obviously things worked out in the end, but I would definitely have been more proactive about making a list of paperwork obligations if I could do things over again,” Kephart said.

Avery White, graduate assistant for the Center for Service Learning and 2019 alumnus, shared the same point of view.

“The worst thing a student can do is rely solely upon their academic advisor,” said White.

White said he noticed a lack of communication between academic advisors and the registrar’s office, as there were times when his advisor was unaware of certain requirements, which would inevitably drag out the process for him.

“I had to go back to the registrar’s office two or three times to make sure all my classes were correct,” White said. “It was more of a nuisance than frustrating.”

White recommended staying on top of requirements by utilizing the student handbook, now available online at, and being intentionally proactive to ensure no problems arise for graduation.

According to Waynesburg University’s website, spring semester graduates may pick up their diploma in the Office of Records and Registration one week from the submission of final grades. Diplomas that are not picked up will be mailed to the students’ home addresses.

White said graduates can expect little preparation as far as rehearsals are concerned, though some guidance is offered.

“[Staff] had us come down fairly early and tried to talk us through what was going on, but there was very little preparation prior to it,” White explained. “On the day [of graduation] they were very good about having staff to walk us through everything and point us in the right direction so we weren’t walking around campus blind.”

Although there was guidance on commencement day, White expressed how little of it there is after the caps are thrown.

“I wish I would have known that life just gets busier after college. The responsibility is also a lot more … it feels a little bit heavier,” White said. “Enjoy your time and freedom and take time to smell the roses, as cliche as that is.”

Kephart expressed that there’s no experience quite like college, and encourages taking advantage while you can.

“It can be easy to lose track of the basics of life when you’re caught up in the excitement of senior year of undergrad,” Kephart explained. “No matter what, I think it’s really important to take time to go to the gym, read a good book and spend some time outside when the weather is nice. Take advantage of the opportunity to pray with others while at Waynesburg. It’s such a rare blessing to have a community of Christian believers ready to kneel and pray alongside you. Don’t take that blessing for granted.”