Chancellor Donna P. Henry urged the 250 members of the UVa-Wise Class of 2019 to make sound choices, shoulder the necessary responsibilities, and lead their communities toward making a better world.

“Seek out and commit to the essentials in your life,” she said. “Nurture your family, your friends and your spirit as you journey away from us out into the world.”

The College at Wise was a lifelong dream of University of Virginia Founder Thomas Jefferson and is the only college off=grounds of the University, Henry explained.

“UVa-Wise provides educational opportunity, economic development and hope for a better future here in Southwest Virginia and throughout the Commonwealth,” she said. “We believe, as did Mr. Jefferson, that an educated, reflective and honorable citizenry is essential to the well—being of our families, communities and our republic.”

Its goal is to prepare students for successful careers and strong citizenship and service, she added. Its alumni are leaders in medicine, business, law, politics, the arts, and nearly every walk of life. She said the Class of 2019 is well prepared to join the nearly 11,000 alumni of the College.

“Graduates, I speak for all members of our College community when I tell you how very proud we are of you,” she said. “Remember, you are not leaving UVa-Wise behind. You will always be a part of the UVa-Wise family. Your achievements and service to others will contribute to the greatness of UVa-Wise.”

Henry gifted the graduates with a copy of UVA President Jim Ryan’s book “Wait. What?” The Napoleon Hill Foundation provided the book.

Photos by Earl Neikirk