Convocation center during commencement


Commencement 2024

Saturday, May 11, 2024
10:00 a.m.
David J. Prior Convocation Center

Commencement Speaker

Commencement Speaker Charles H. "Chuck" Slemp III

Charles H. “Chuck” Slemp III, a 2003 graduate of UVA Wise, currently serves as Chief Deputy Attorney General of Virginia. Slemp, who grew up in Lee County, has previously served as the Commonwealth’s Attorney for Wise County and the City of Norton. He also served the Circuit Court of Wise County, the Virginia Court of Appeals and the Office of Attorney General. For five years, he also owned his own practice, where he hosted UVA Wise interns.

He has served the college as a lecturer, Constitution Day speaker and intern supervisor for UVA Wise. While an undergraduate, Slemp served on the Student Government Association, volunteered, and participated in Baptist Campus Ministries. He completed an internship with the Commonwealth’s Attorney and served as the College’s student representative for a bond referendum that General Assembly crafted to assist colleges and universities in the Commonwealth.

Slemp holds a Juris Doctor and a master’s degree in government, law and public policy from Regent University. He completed postgraduate study at Hertford College at Oxford University in Anglo- American constitutional studies, and his bachelor of arts degree in business administration.

He has published in the Appalachian Journal of Law and Regent Journal of Law & Public Policy. In 2021, he was named a Leader in Law by Virginia Lawyers Weekly, among other recognitions.

He is a member of the Board of Governors for the Virginia Bar Association, the Virginia Crime Commission and the Virginia State Bar Criminal Law Section. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for the Rapha Foundation and the United Way of Southwest Virginia.

Slemp has given numerous presentations at national conferences and meetings, and has served as a subject matter expert for media outlets, including contributions to the The Washington Post and National Public Radio.

Bryson Roberson Student Speaker

Bryson Patrick Roberson is graduating with a bachelor of science degree in economics and criminal justice as well as a bachelor of arts degree in political science. While at UVA Wise, he has completed two undergraduate research projects, completed an internship with then-Commonwealth Attorney Charles “Chuck” Slemp III, served as prosecution for the College’s Honor Court, and was able to earn and take full advantage of an educational opportunity at The Fund for American Studies, where he took economic courses at George Mason University and interned for the National Star Route Mail Contractors Association, where he analyzed legislative and regulatory developments and conducted outreach with congressional representatives.

From this experience, Roberson became a program advisor for the Fund, guiding students within the program and coordinating events.

During his semesters on campus, Roberson served as UVA Wise’s student representative for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia and was inducted into the National Society for Leadership and Success; the Darden Society; Alpha Pi Sigma, the administration of justice honor society; and Pi Sigma Alpha, the national political science honor society.

In Wise County, he completed the Forward Wise County program and served as an election officer.

Roberson’s research has been published in Lux, UVA Wise’s multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal dedicated to promoting exceptional written scholarship by current students and recent graduates. He also presented at the Midwest Political Science Association Conference in Chicago.

Throughout the next year, Roberson will be exploring frameworks around nuclear policy as Clear Path, a nonprofit organization that works to develop and advance policies that accelerate innovations to reduce and remove global energy emissions.

Eventually, Roberson would like to come back to Southwest Virginia to assist with the positive momentum the region is achieving.