Skip to main content

The Reed College of Media and College of Creative Arts will merge to form the new WVU College of Creative Arts and Media as of July 1, 2024. Get details.

College of Media celebrates graduates; Widmeyer awarded honorary degree

View the College of Media graduation photo gallery

WVU Reed College of Media graduates were celebrated for their perseverance and accomplishments during the College’s commencement ceremony Friday, May 12, at the WVU Coliseum.

More than 190 College of Media graduates attended the ceremony, earning bachelor’s degrees in Advertising and Public Relations, Game Design and Interactive Media, Journalism, Multidisciplinary Media Studies, and Sports and Adventure Media, and master’s degrees in Data Marketing Communications, Digital Marketing Communications, Integrated Marketing Communications and Journalism.

During the ceremony, Scott Widmeyer (BSJ, 1975) was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his professional achievements, service and philanthropy to the College of Media and to multiple community organizations and causes. Widmeyer is the founding managing partner and chief strategy officer for Finn Partners, recognized as one of the largest independent communications firms globally. Prior to joining Finn in 2013, Scott spent 25 years leading Widmeyer Communications, a firm known for award-winning work in public policy and for effecting change on issues related to education, health, the environment, trade and safety.

Scott Widmeyer receives an honorary degreeWidmeyer gave a keynote address after being presented with the honorary degree, during which he stressed the importance of the journalism and communications professions.

“Your graduating class is a symbol of hope,” said Widmeyer. “Your graduating class represents aspiration and perseverance. And each one of you developed and sharpened important skills during your university education that position you to be ambassadors of truth telling.”

Following Widmeyer’s address, each student crossed the stage as their names were read and were congratulated by their program chair and Provost Maryanne Reed before receiving a WVU diploma cover from College of Media Dean Diana Martinelli. Those earning a master’s degree were hooded by Assistant Dean of Online Programs Chad Mezera and Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies Steve Urbanski.

The ceremony concluded with a message from Reed, who previously served as the dean of the College of Media for 15 years.

“You have already met and overcome so many challenges, including a global pandemic,” said Reed. “Your experience has made you resilient and adaptive and strengthened your resolve. You’ve shown grit in the face of adversity.”

Three weeks prior to commencement, on April 21, the College of Media recognized top undergraduate students at its annual Spring Honors Ceremony. Raeanne Beckner, Jillian Peyton, Christina Rufo, Maxwell Russell, Trenton Straight and Rhyanna Wiethe were the top overall scholars, earning the highest grade point average (4.0) of the May 2023 undergraduate class.

Each year, faculty also select outstanding seniors from each major, based on student applications. This year’s outstanding seniors included Advertising and Public Relations majors Cheyenne Oakes and Maxwell Russell, Interactive Design for Media major Arden Minor, Journalism majors Trenton Straight and Jade Ruggieri, Multidisciplinary Media Studies major Alina Mian and Sports and Adventure Media major Bailee Tucker.

In addition, 62 bachelor’s degree candidates were recognized for their cumulative academic achievement by being awarded Latin honors, which include cum laude (GPA between 3.4 and 3.59), magna cum laude (GPA between 3.6 and 3.79) and summa cum laude (GPA of at least 3.8).