They descend on the campus – some for the first time ever, proud to walk across the stage to receive their diplomas.
Friday, nearly 60 of those graduates gathered in Hammond Hall, home of the Virtual College, for a reception recognizing them for their accomplishments before commencement ceremonies that night and Saturday morning.
The come-and-go event featured graduates from Kansas and 14 other states, from coast to coast and anywhere in-between.
• Donald W. Wilson completed his Bachelor of General Studies with an emphasis in history.
Although he lives just a couple of hours away in Junction City, he had never stepped foot on the FHSU campus before this weekend.
A veteran of the U.S. Army, Wilson would have been just fine receiving his diploma in the mail.
But his wife, Judith, insisted he accept it in person.
“I thought if you worked that hard, you should be recognized,” she said, speaking directly to her husband.
Wilson, the first in his family to graduate from college, said he chose the Virtual College route “so I could be home with family.”
He had joined the military immediately after high school graduation in Tyler, Texas, in 1989.
After several duties overseas, Wilson was stationed at Fort Riley near Junction City and decided to make his home there after retiring from the army in 2009.
Wilson, now 56, has been so impressed with his entire FHSU experience that he is thinking about going to graduate school.
By Diane Gasper-O’Brien
University Relations and Marketing