Thursday, December 17, 2015

Grad parties: New friends, new futures

DSC_2890They hugged friends they’d never met before. They frolicked with Butch T. Cougar. To find their Global Campus classmates, some wore red sweaters emblazoned with WSU logos and snowflakes.

This year’s ASWSU Global commencement receptions in Pullman and Seattle drew more than 100 exuberant graduates and family members.

“It’s the first time I’ve met everybody,” said strategic communications graduate Wayne White, who sported one of the festive sweaters at the Pullman event. “I’ve worked with them for two years, seen their pictures, but to actually talk and interact with them is a different thing.”

The sweater idea came from a strategic-communications Facebook group. “We peer-pressured everyone into buying one,” said White, a video editor at KOMO-TV news. “Now we can all identify each other.”

Other ASWSU Global events include free zoo trips, ski trips, museum visits, and tailgate parties. “Most online programs would never do these kinds of things,” said Jonathan Olp, the incoming ASWSU Global president. “But it brings the students closer so they can connect with one another and the faculty.”

Criminal justice major Lindsey Clark attended the Seattle graduation reception with a full family entourage: Mother, father, husband, 4-year-old son, sister, brother-in-law, mother-in-law, and niece. Her support network quickly came in handy:

“Before showing up, I was thinking, ‘it's just a lunch,’” she said. “But clearly it meant a lot more to me because immediately after walking in the door, I burst into tears.”

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