December 15, 2023

“My first day as a student at Columbia College was my most treasured memory. I remember it so clearly. I walked into the Breed Leadership Center about 30 minutes before class started and started to cry. Just the idea that I was an actual student in college was so overwhelming. Nothing will top that day for me.” Lakeisha Edmonds, Columbia College Special Education graduate and student speaker, looks back with fondness on her entire undergraduate experience, including her time as president of the Evening College Student Government Association, but she will always treasure her first official day on campus. All at once, she knew her dreams would soon become reality, and the idea was overwhelming. Years later, she celebrates with her classmates as they all walk across the stage, accepting their diplomas.

On December 15, 2023, Columbia College honored 126 undergraduate and 157 graduate students with Commencement Exercises at the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center. Families and friends of graduates gathered to commemorate the momentous occasion. Columbia College alumna and Representative from West Virginia, Carol Miller '72, served as Keynote Speaker, offering words of congratulations and encouragement for the future. This was the first Commencement Ceremony for the President of Columbia College, Dr. John H. Dozier, who graciously shared, “This is the day to which every student, parent, supporter, and educator look forward. We are able to experience the collective relief, joy, and nostalgia wrapped into the end of one adventure juxtaposed to the beginning of another. I have loved every minute of watching the December Class of 2023 soar here on campus, and I, alongside many others, anticipate what their future holds.”

When Lakeisha Edmonds’ journey at Columbia College began, she believed nothing could match that feeling. Today, we celebrate the years of hard work, dedication, and determination that it took to achieve the many goals of the Columbia College Class of 2023. It is the Mission of Columbia College to prepare Lakeisha and all of our graduates, personally and professionally, so that they may go out into the world and live lives of impact. The December Class of 2023 has certainly made a lasting impact on Columbia College; may they enter the world and do the same! 

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