PSU celebrates students’ degrees, memories

Val Vita | Collegio Reporter

For the first time in six years, Jordan White will not be playing tuba for the PSU band when football season opens in September.
“I’ll be coaching a band in Seneca, Missouri, where I’ve got a job,” said White, graduate student in music.
White is one of more than 1,000 students whose lives are about to change after graduation ceremonies in two weeks.
“I’m definitely going to miss all the fun memories I had here,” White said.
Out of the Jungle, an event designed to congratulate graduates, took place Tuesday, April 24, at the Wilkinson Alumni Center. The event is organized every semester by the Alumni and Constituent Relations office. This semester, about 380 students attended.
Meagan Swafford says this is the largest number of students the event has ever had.
“The Out of the Jungle is a way to give congratulations to the seniors,” said Swafford, assistant director of alumni and constituent relations.
She says that PSU hopes students will keep connected with the university after graduation, and they can participate in the Gorilla Gatherings, which are held across the country.
Swafford says they served food and gave prizes at the event. President Steve Scott also gave a speech on the importance of keeping in touch.
“We want to know where you are and what you are doing,” Scott said. “And I promise we are not going to ask for your money … Too soon.”
Scott says that 2012 graduates will be able to claim that the year they graduate wasn’t an ordinary year.
“In 2012, we won the national championship in football, women won the regional basketball tournament and a tornado hit the campus,” Scott said.
Matthew Whitley says 2012 was one of the best years he’s had.
“I’m not sad at all with the graduation,” said Whitley, senior in business administration. “I was poor, but happy.”
He says after classes end, he is going to start a two-month training course in a well-known paint store in Wichita.
“I’m not sure where I’m going to live after that,” Whitley said. “The feeling of not knowing is kind of bittersweet. I’m from Southeast Kansas, so this is a new step for my life.”
Alyssa Zimmerman says she is also leaving Pittsburg a few days after graduation. She says she has a job with a company in Kansas City, where she will start working May 31.
“I think it will be a different life,” said Zimmerman, senior in mechanical and manufacturing. “I’m excited that I’m graduating, but it’s sad because I’m gonna have to leave all my friends.”
Ina Fomina says she is feeling uncertain about the upcoming graduation.
“I’m kind of scared,” said Fomina, senior in international studies. “But it had to happen sometime. Now I’m just accepting.”

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