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West Liberty convocation celebrates, encourages first-year students

WEST LIBERTY — West Liberty University greeted its newest students Wednesday in a fall convocation designed to encourage and welcome freshmen.

Led by President W. Franklin Evans, the convocation took place at noon in the Academic, Sports and Recreation Center, a large space that allowed appropriate social distancing. Approximately 400 freshmen attended.

The Marching Hilltoppers, under the direction of Gretchen Pohlman, began the program with a rendition of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy.” This was followed by the “Star Spangled Banner” by the WLU Singers, under the direction of Linda Cowan.

Evans took the podium to deliver his official Presidential Charge and offer advice based on what he has learned along the way in his years in higher education, either as a student, college professor and now president.

He shared directions on how to succeed in college, consisting of 10 rules of life, such as “life is not fair, get used to it.” He also encouraged the students to go to class rather than skip, be dedicated to their studies, make friends, be careful with money, and take care of their health.

A videotaped message from Gov. Jim Justice, accompanied by his English bulldog, Babydog, was played, with the governor welcoming Evans and the freshman, focusing on the successes of the university during the pandemic and its historic place in Mountain State higher education as the state’s oldest public college or university.

This was followed by additional video greetings from Sen. Shelley Moore Capito and Sen. Joe Manchin. Additional videos from alumni and former WLU athletes added to the moment.

The Fall Convocation can be viewed by clicking on topperstation.com.

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