Class of 2024 honored in various celebrations during commencement week

More than 500 University of Pikeville (Ƶ) students celebrated their achievements by earning their degrees during the spring commencement ceremonies for undergraduate, graduate and health professions on Saturday, May 4, at the Appalachian Wireless Arena. Graduates and their families were able to attend the in-person ceremonies or watch virtually via livestream.

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Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine and Kentucky College of Optometry 

The twenty-fourth commencement for the Kentucky College of Osteopathic Medicine (KYCOM) and, for the fifth time, the Kentucky College of Optometry (KYCO) recognized a tremendous group of physicians and optometric servants. 

In the days leading up to commencement, award ceremonies were held to honor top-performing KYCOM and KYCO students. 



The College of Nursing and Human Services held pinning ceremonies to honor nursing and social work graduates. 

The University of Pikeville (Ƶ) College of Nursing and Human Services (CNHS) recently honored students graduating from the university’s nursing and social work programs during a pair of pinning ceremonies.

On Thursday, May 2, the Elliott School of Nursing held a pinning ceremony in Booth Auditorium, honoring 46 Associate of Science in Nursing students receiving their nursing pins. The ceremony commemorates the students’ successful completion of their nursing coursework and clinical rotations. 

Karen Damron, Ph.D., RN, dean of CNHS, addressed the graduates, honoring their accomplishments and recognizing their commitment to the nursing profession.

“Nursing graduates, as you receive your well-earned nursing pins today remember this is just the beginning of your nursing career. You are about to embark on a journey filled with challenges, triumphs and unforgettable experiences,” said Damron. “This evening’s ceremony is your unofficial welcome to the nursing world. This is a time for you, your fellow classmates and your families to come together and celebrate your accomplishments.”

Students were pinned by nursing faculty and recited the Florence Nightingale Pledge. The traditional ceremony dates to the 1860s and was adopted by Nightingale to honor her most outstanding graduate nurses.

On Friday, May 3, the Ƶ School of Social Work held its pinning ceremony in Booth Auditorium, honoring 13 graduates receiving their bachelor’s in social work and 13 graduates receiving their master’s of social work. 

Genesia Kilgore-Bowling, Ph.D., MSW, CSW, chair and professor with the school of social work and director of the master’s program, celebrated graduates along with friends, families, professors and colleagues in attendance. She reminded students to rely on their spirit of compassion, empathy and resilience to sustain them through the difficult but important field of social work.

“Face the challenges and injustices that lie ahead with courage, compassion and humility. Be relentless in your advocacy for those whose voices have been silenced,” said Kilgore-Bowling. “Be steadfast in your commitment to creating a world where all individuals can thrive.” 

Read more about Commencement Season on our exposure site

See photos from several Ƶ commencement celebration events here.