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School graduates 134 at fall commencement

Dec 15, 2017

Posted in: News

Peyton Rowe and Tim Bajkiewicz, Ph.D., Associate Professors

(l to r) Asst. Prof. Marcel Jennings, advertising students Sam Pietrzak and Elijah Vaughn, and asst. Prof. Jay Adams share a laugh before the Robertson School's Fall 2017 commencement ceremony Dec. 8 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
(l to r) Asst. Prof. Marcel Jennings, advertising students Sam Pietrzak and Elijah Vaughn, and asst. Prof. Jay Adams share a laugh before the Robertson School's Fall 2017 commencement ceremony Dec. 8 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

The Richard T. Robertson School of Media and Culture at Virginia Commonwealth University celebrated another class of graduates at its fall commencement ceremony December 8th at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

The fall 2017 graduating class included 134 total students, with 122 undergraduates in journalism, public relations and advertising, and 12 master’s students in strategic public relations.

Aurelia Lewis of Lewis Media Partners, an integrated media agency in Richmond, delivered the commencement address. She was welcomed by Dr. Deirdre Condit, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs in the VCU College of Humanities and Sciences, and Jay Adams, an assistant professor of advertising in the Robertson School.

Hayley Pottle, an undergraduate student in public relations, received the Top Scholar Award from Kappa Tau Alpha. She was inducted into the honor society for journalism and mass communications in spring 2017. After making the Dean’s List six times, she graduates summa cum laude with a general business minor, a cumulative grade point average of greater than 3.9 and a GPA of 4.0 for her classes in the Robertson School.

(l to r) Graduates Alexus Allen, Emilio Alvarez, Alexia Amblard, Charles Ambrose, Lauren Anderson and Bayan Atari at the Robertson School's Fall 2017 commencement ceremony Dec. 8 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.
(l to r) Graduates Alexus Allen, Emilio Alvarez, Alexia Amblard, Charles Ambrose, Lauren Anderson and Bayan Atari at the Robertson School's Fall 2017 commencement ceremony Dec. 8 at the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

The following students received a Robertson School Faculty Award, given to exemplary students in each academic program:

Hiba Ahmad, undergraduate broadcast journalism
Raymond Bahng, undergraduate creative and strategic advertising
Sam Dixon, undergraduate creative and strategic advertising
Lucien Friel, undergraduate public relations
Brittany Taylor, graduate strategic public relations
Nicholas Versaw, undergraduate print-online journalism

In her speech, Mrs. Lewis offered that "Fear has two meanings: 1. Forget everything and run. 2. Face everything and rise." After she shared her experiences of facing fear throughout her career, she offered this advice: "Look at your fears as challenges, not failures. Elect fear number two."

Graduates and their families left the convention center just as an unexpected storm began to hit the South with wet, heavy snow. It was the first time in 12 years that Richmond has seen a December winter storm.