MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - One hundred twenty students graduated from Mississippi State University Meridian campus Thursday morning.
Graduating students, along with their families and faculty, gathered at the MSU Riley Center to celebrate their college accomplishments.
“Honestly, it’s so exciting,” says Rachel Laird, the Division of Education’s outstanding graduate student. “I’m actually the first person in my family, on both sides, to get a master’s degree. So it’s really exciting. It has really been with the support of my family and friends.”
Students told Newscenter 11 they have plans for the workforce and for furthering their education after graduating.
“I’m actually going straight into the master’s program this summer, so I get to stay here a little bit longer. But I love the faculty and staff; they’re awesome,” says Shawna Marceleno, the outstanding undergraduate student in the Division of Business.
Students also shared their favorite memories during their time at the university.
“The classes with friends and faculty who feel almost like friends because they’re so personable and so caring and they really think about you as a person rather than just as a student,” Laird says.
“Getting to know the faculty and being in the DECA program, because we got to on a lot of trips and have a lot of experiences that we wouldn’t have had otherwise,” says Marceleno.
As all of the graduating students reflected on their time at MSU-Meridian, we asked them how much it meant to them to be graduating.
“[It means] a lot; I never thought that I would make it to this point, so I’m very excited,” says Alana Knowles, the Spirit of State Award recipient.
Graduating students were either from Mississippi or Alabama. Thirty-four Mississippi cities and towns were represented.