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From Down the Hall: May 2023

The spring semester is drawing to a close here in Morgantown, and our campuses have come alive again in color with budding trees, green grass and blooming flowers from Downtown to Evansdale and over to the Health Sciences campus. As the chilly weather has given way to warmer days and sunny skies, everyone here at the WVU Alumni Association is looking forward to joining family and friends in celebrating the Class of 2023 during next week’s Commencement ceremonies. 

Commencement has always been one of my favorite times during the academic year, with endless opportunities for celebration, tradition, and reflection. I look forward to welcoming a new class of West Virginia University alumni to our family of over 200,000 alumni. We share a special bond that is present in the moments when we see someone wearing a WVU shirt in an airport and shout, “Let’s go,” to hear them respond with, “Mountaineers!” or when we sing Country Roads together at a wedding or in a pub abroad. Or the moment we celebrate the birth of a child with a WVU onesie and when we proudly display the Flying WV outside our home or apartment. No matter how far we venture from Morgantown, WVU is a part of us.

Commencement is also a time of reflection, and we asked alumni to share advice they would give someone as they approach graduation. Here are a few of my favorite words of wisdom:

Career Advice

“After each job interview, write a follow-up to your interviewer. Tell them what interest you still have and what you learned about their company. There might be about 10% of their interviewees who send them a follow-up note.” - Greg B. ‘70
“As a new grad, focus on building a strong personal brand by delivering quality work, being dependable, and seeking feedback to continuously improve your skills and reputation in the workplace.” - Sarah G. ‘06, ‘07
“Your GPA can certainly be helpful in getting that first job. Performance and track record will lead to the next job, and no one will ask about grades again. When opportunity knocks, be sure to open the door.” - Patti L. ‘77
“Believe in yourself and the education you have gained at WVU. Learn the Four Agreements: 1. Be impeccable with your word. 2. Don’t take it personally. 3. Don’t make assumptions. 4. Always do your best.” - Karen C. ‘86

Life Advice

“Success is the achievement of personally significant goals.” - Bruce H. ‘69
“Life is full of possibilities. Embrace the possibilities.” - John R. ‘87, ‘89
“Don’t ignore your health, even when you’re young.” - Andi H. ‘02
“Ask questions.” - Cathy O. ‘75, ‘81

Staying Connected to WVU

“Never stop learning! Represent WVU with pride, honor and dignity! Give back whenever possible and lift others up! Let’s Go!” - Mark L. ‘22
“Stay connected with WVU. The WVU network extends far and wide, and the WVU family can help you in so many ways, whether it is exploring a new town, looking for a job, finding a dentist, buying a house, or just making new friends. You are a part of something special that will always be there for you.” - Bill G. ‘91
“Become active with the Alumni Association. It’s one of your best options for networking and job searching.” - Pam W. ‘81
“Connect with alums. Mountaineers love supporting Mountaineers.” - Nicole B. ‘07, ‘10, ‘17

Next week, I am excited to join with the class of 2023 when they mark another moment in their journey as Mountaineers as they cross the stage and celebrate all they achieved as a West Virginia University student. Grads, I encourage you to take advantage of several available activities and resources. Here are a few to consider next week and beyond:

  • GradFest on Woodburn Circle and E. Moore Hall Lawn: On May 10, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., get a free photo in your WVU graduation cap and gown, WVU licensed gear or professional attire; grab your official WVU alumni t-shirt; stop by an appreciation station and write a message of gratitude to someone who impacted your time at WVU; sign your class banner; decorate your mortar board; visit with Career Services and learn about services provided specifically for alumni; enjoy great food and music; and enter for a change to win a gift card. Family and friends are invited to join you!

  • Update your contact information: As you prepare for your next steps, be sure to update your contact information - it only takes 5 minutes!

  • Find Your Chapter: With more than 70 chapters around the country, there are Mountaineers ready to welcome you to your newest community after graduation. Take a look at the complete list here: 

  • Join WVU Connect: This professional networking community is exclusively designed for WVU students and alumni. Get in touch with alumni that currently live in the city you're moving to or connect with established professionals in your field! Sign up at

  • Enjoy a WVU alumni membership for free: To celebrate this exceptional achievement, the WVU Alumni Association is gifting the entire Class of 2023 with a free Annual Membership. Be sure to take advantage of all of the benefits! Learn more here: Member Benefits

As you enter the next chapter of your personal story, know that WVU and the WVU Alumni Association are here for you during every moment of your Mountaineer journey, big and small. We are proud of all you have accomplished and can’t wait to see what lies ahead. Congratulations, Class of 2023! Take this moment to celebrate your hard work and dedication. 

Let’s Go, Mountaineers!

Kevin Berry ('94, '95)
WVU Vice President of Alumni Relations
CEO of the WVU Alumni Association, Inc.