BECKLEY, WV (WVNS) — It is that time of year, families and friends come together for graduation ceremonies across all levels of education. The WVU Tech Class of 2022 received their diplomas on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

For most of their time spent in college, many in the WVU Tech Class of 2022 were not sure if they were going to get a ceremony to symbolize all of their hard work over the last four years.

Jalen Wayt graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. When he saw the prior class got an in person ceremony, with precautions, he felt a bit more reassured, but still he knew anything could happen.

“I was worried. I thought it would be interesting to be here one last time with everybody, in the last four years we grew together as a family and so I am pretty excited for the ceremony as well,” said Wayt.

With a job already lined up, he is ready to give back to the area that did so much for him throughout his life.

“So I am pretty glad to be able to move forward, and the time I have had at WVU tech has been great and I have earned some valuable connections throughout the years,” said Wayt.

It was a day filled with both firsts and lasts for those in caps and gowns.

Four students were the first to graduate with a bachelor’s degree in construction management, a one-of-a-kind degree in the state. The school also awarded a posthumous degree to William Benn, a Vietnam veteran.

In April 2022, Campus president Caroyln Long announced her plans to retire at the end of the year, meaning Long would join the class of 2022 in transition to a new phase of life.

“Well, today is really about our graduates, not me. It is a little bittersweet for me but this is the goal, to put those young men and women across that stage, hand them their diploma and say go out into the world and make a difference. So today is still joyful, I will be a little sad because I have enjoyed this so much and I have been so blessed to be the campus president,” said Long.

A day Long and the Class of 2022 will always remember.