English Dept. aims to inspire with wall recognizing alumni

At Waynesburg University, the school tries to maintain relationships with its alumni and attempts to stay connected with students of the past, present and future. For the English department, this means making an alumni board for all to see on the third floor of Buhl Hall.

Professor of English Jamie Dessart, who is the creator of the wall, likes the alumni board as a way to remember past students while also inspiring current ones.

“The purpose is to show what our graduates are doing, celebrate their lives and service, as well as to help answer the question of ‘what do you do with an English major?’” said Dessart.

The alumni board is large, stands out and grabs attention. The board has an orange canvas and a silver lining, with a myriad of students faces on it. Under the pictures of the students is a small excerpt on when the student graduated and what is currently going on in their lives.

Dessart has high hopes for her current group of students.

“I want them to see the possibilities for their futures,” said Dessart. “I also want them to stay in touch through social media so that one day they can make the board as well.”

For the students who have made the wall, Dessart says all of them were asked to be on the wall and agreed.

In showcasing the alumni, the current students can see what to work towards and can set goals of making the wall in their future. The wall can bring back memories as well. Current students who may have known the people on the wall can look at the success of former students after graduation.

“What it means is you see their faces and it shows they haven’t left us here at Waynesburg,” said Dr. Bob Randolph, chairperson for the English and Foreign Languages Department and professor of English.

Randolph would like to see his current students make the board one day, and says that many of them can in fact be on it one day.

“Seeing the pictures and looking at all of the names – almost all the current faculty can say something about these students,” said Randolph about the memories he has of the students on the alumni board.

For English students who come across the board, the students can see what degree their job can bring. They don’t have to follow the same exact path that the alumni did, but what the board does show is what these people did in graduating through the English department.