WEST LIBERTY - Wheeling Mayor Andy McKenzie attributes his success to hard work, honesty and determination - values he urged the 133 new graduates of West Liberty University to cherish during his Saturday commencement speech.
"Success is simple. Do what is right, the right way, at the right time," McKenzie said, while emphasizing his status as a proud graduate of the hilltop institution of higher learning.
During the ceremony, West Liberty President Robin Capehart honored McKenzie by granting the mayor a doctor of humane letters degree for McKenzie's contributions to Wheeling and Ohio County.
COMMENCEMENT CEREMONY — West Liberty University honors 133 new graduates during its Saturday commencement ceremony.
After graduating from then-West Liberty State College, McKenzie received his master's of business administration from West Virginia University. Besides serving as mayor, McKenzie is employed as a financial adviser. McKenzie also has served as a Republican senator in the West Virginia Legislature from 1996-2008, holding the position of minority whip.
"It used to be that a high school graduate could earn a decent wage. It is not so today," McKenzie said in acknowledging the new graduates.
"Never close your mind to something new. You must always be willing to evolve during the changing times," he added.
Capehart opened the ceremony by asking for a moment of silence to acknowledge the victims in the Friday shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
Area graduates include: Sean M. Pulice of Weirton; Kayla Marie Pace of Steubenville; Jennifer Mary Fiedorczyk of Weirton; Marie Elizabeth Holt of Toronto; Brittany Noel Kimball of Colliers; Max Aaron King of Toronto; Alex N. Knotts of Weirton; Rachel Maurine Mazzella of Wellsburg; Cheryl A. Rush of Avella; and Matthew T. Wood of Bloomingdale.