Belmont College Honors the Class of 2024

Belmont College’s Class of 2024 Co-Valedictorians, Allison Bradley of New Athens, Ohio, and Gregory Layman of Moundsville, West Virginia pictured with Dr. Paul F. Gasparro, President.

St. Clairsville, OH (May 13, 2024) – Belmont College officials conferred degrees upon a multitude of graduates as part of the College’s 2024 Spring Commencement Ceremonies in St. Clairsville, Ohio. Hundreds of parents, extended family, faculty, and staff were present to congratulate the Class of 2024.

President Dr. Paul F. Gasparro welcomed the graduates, “I want to offer my warmest congratulations to our graduates. You have worked long and hard to be here tonight, and this ceremony is just the beginning of your future. Graduating from college is a major life accomplishment, and we are pleased to be able to share this momentous occasion with you.”

He continued, “Remember, no matter how far or how high you travel, you started here and you have a great foundation to build on. Tonight, is your night and I hope that you enjoy and celebrate it. We are very proud of your achievement and wish you good health, happiness, and continued success in whatever path you choose for your future.”

Graduates from the following programs participated in the commencement ceremony held on Thursday, May 9, 2024: Allied Health Administration; Certified Chemical Dependency Certificate; Computed Tomography; Early Childhood Education; Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic; Emergency Medical Services – Paramedic Cert.; Firefighter; Laboratory Technician; Massage Therapy; Medical Assisting; Medical Coding Certificate; Mental Health; Phlebotomy Technician Certificate; Practical Nursing Certificate; Radiologic Technology; Registered Nursing; and Transitional Nursing.

Ms. Kareen Simon delivered the keynote address to the Thursday evening graduates. She is the Vice President/Chief Operating Officer at WVU Medicine, Wheeling Hospital. Ms. Simon has been a part of the Executive Leadership team at Wheeling Hospital for 12 years. She operates at an executive and leadership level role with the hospital’s governing body, medical staff leadership, hospital senior leadership and management team. She is responsible for maximizing the Hospital’s operating performance, achieving its financial goals, and executing strategic business plans to achieve operational, clinical, and quality objectives. Ms. Simon also works to ensure that quality patient care is provided, and that the financial integrity of the hospital is maintained.

In her commencement speech, Simon said, “These graduates are the eyes of the hospital and understand their work is vital to providing an accurate diagnosis and optimum patient care.”

Additionally, graduates from the following programs will participate in the commencement ceremony to be held on Friday, May 10, 2024: Accounting; Associate of Arts; Associate of Science; Bookkeeper I Certificate; Bookkeeper II Certificate; Building Preservation/Restoration; Business Administration & Leadership; Civil Engineering; Computer Applications Certificate; Cyber Security & Computer Forensics; Cyber Security Certificate; Electronic Media; Energy and Natural Resources; Engineering Applications Certificate; General Bookkeeping Certificate; Graphic Design Certificate; HVAC Technology; HVAC Technology Certificate; Industrial Electronics Technology; Instrumentation and Control; Maintenance Technician I Certificate; Maintenance Technician II Certificate; Natural Resources Certificate; Networking; Payroll Clerk Certificate; PC/Networking Technician Certificate; Pipeline Welder Helper I Certificate; Pipeline Welder Helper II Certificate; Process Technician; Process Control Certificate; Software Development Fundamentals Certificate; Welding Fabricator Certificate; Welding Technology; and Welding Technology Certificate.

The keynote speaker at the Friday evening graduation was Judge John A. Vavra. Judge Vavra is the senior and administrative Judge of the Belmont County Common Pleas Court. After acquiring both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mathematics, he completed law school in 1982.He practiced law in the local counties since then, initially under the guidance of the late Judge John J. Malik, Jr. Judge Vavra was elected to the bench of the Belmont County Court, Eastern Division, in 2010.  After four years, he was elected, and later reelected to his current position. His court presides over the most serious or felony level criminal offenses.

In his speech, Vavra said, “Don’t let others limit or define you. Define yourself. Don’t settle for mediocrity; don’t settle for normalcy. Within the bounds of the law, challenge yourselves.”

He continued, “There will be failures. But have courage. Don’t back down, deal with what happens and never ever listen to the disbelievers and those of lesser character than yourself. Rely up on the guidance of helpful peers and other people that you respect.”

The Class of 2024 Co-Valedictorian’s are Allison Bradley of New Athens, Ohio, and Gregory Layman of Moundsville, West Virginia.

Allison earned two degrees, graduating with an Associate of Applied Business Degree in Accounting as well as an Associate of Applied Business Degree in Business Administration and Leadership. Gregory earned an Associate of Applied Science degree in Building Preservation/Restoration. Both of them graduated with honors and as members of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the International Honor Society for two-year colleges.

The class Salutatorian is Courtney Ault of St. Clairsville, Ohio, who earned an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Radiologic Technology. She graduated with honors and is a member of Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), the International Honor Society for two-year colleges as well as a member of Lambda Nu, the national honor society for radiologic and imaging sciences.

Additionally, a pinning ceremony was held prior to the Thursday evening commencement ceremony to honor the graduating Associate Degree Nursing students.

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