The University of Virginia’s College at Wise held a special Commencement ceremony on Monday, May 8, for three Cavalier softball players who could not attend Saturday’s Commencement exercises because they were participating in tournament play.

Chancellor Donna P. Henry invited the players and their families to her home and held a mini Commencement ceremony complete with caps, gowns and a short processional. Olivia Cleary, Alexa Hernandez and Emily Kale received their diplomas and Henry conferred their degrees.

“Olivia, Alexa and Emily, you have led outstanding undergraduate careers as student athletes,” Henry said. “You have put in countless hours on the field, off the field, and on the road. Congratulations on this milestone. Thank you for hard work, your school spirit and your Cavalier Pride. I know being a student athlete will serve you well in all your future endeavors.”

The UVa-Wise softball team learned Monday that they received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division II national championship. UVa-Wise will host the Atlantic 1 Regional on Thursday through Saturday.

“You have a promising future ahead,” Henry said. “You have choices to make and much work to do. Explore and endeavor to make sound choices. Shoulder the necessary responsibilities and lead yourself, your colleagues and your community in making a better world. Seek out and commit to the essentials in your life. Nurture your family, your friends and your spirit as you journey away from us out into the world. And remember you will always have a home here at The University of Virginia’s College at Wise.”