The University of West Alabama held fall commencement exercises on Dec. 14, with President Ken Tucker conferring undergraduate, master, and education specialist degrees to students of the colleges of business, education, liberal arts, and natural sciences and mathematics, , and to the school of graduate studies.
Nearly 1,000 students in the graduating class represent some 26 states across the U.S. and abroad.
Micah McGaha of Milton, Florida, received the Ralph M. Lyon Award, which is given to the graduating senior with the highest grade point average. McGaha received a bachelor of business administration.
Graduating summa cum laude, with a GPA of 3.9 or above, were Nora Keehn, Micah McGaha, Shaun Patten and Mikaela Utsey.
Graduating magna cum laude, with a GPA of 3.75 to 3.89, were Peyton Black and Olivia Dunlap.
Graduating cum laude, with a GPA of 3.5 to 3.74 were Sonya Burroughs, Meaghan Jackson, John Joyner, Amanda Kirkman, Destiny Langford, Griffin Ricketson, Kaitlyn Rose, Aubrie Smith, Bryce Turner, Zachary Tyson, Jordan Varney, and Christiana Williamson.
Four individuals were inducted into the Society of the Golden Key, a prestigious organization established to honor University alumni, faculty, and staff who have brought distinction to their alma mater through exceptional service in their fields. The four new inductees are Harvey B. Kuykendall of Cumming, Georgia; Scott Lewis of Thomasville, Alabama; Ted Mashburn of Fairhope, Alabama; and Scott Stadthagen of Hartselle, Alabama.
Meridian graduates include: Christy Allen, Master of Education; Lashonda Brewer, Master of Education; Jaamal Elkins, Master of Arts in Teaching; Charles Graham, Bachelor of Business Administration; Laura ReeceMaster of Arts in Teaching; Chelsi Stewart, Bachelor of Science.
Other local graduates were: Little Rock: Crystal Fitzgerald, Master of Education; Delton Harrison Associate of Applied Science; De Kalb: Ashley Trosclair, Master of Education; Keith ColeMaster of Science; Decatur: James Miller, Master of Education; Marion: Deasia Ott, Bachelor of Science; Jennifer Hearn, Bachelor of Science, Amber Hickman, Master of Science; Union: Lisa Knight , Master of Arts in Teaching; Toomsuba: Allyson Wells, Master of Education; Preston: Christy Creel; Master of Arts in Teaching; Skyla Hailey, Master of Education.