West Virginia State University Commencement set for Saturday, May 11

Contact: Jack Bailey
(304) 766-4109
April 26, 2019
West Virginia State University Commencement set for Saturday, May 11

INSTITUTE, W.Va. – More than 270 students will graduate from West Virginia State University (WVSU) on Saturday, May 11, 2019, during a commencement ceremony beginning at 10 a.m. in the D. Stephen and Diane H. Walker Convocation Center.

The commencement speaker is the Rev. Ronald W. English, retired pastor of the First Baptist Church of Charleston. During his 21-year tenure, he led the church to become a Charter Member of the Religious Coalition for Community Renewal which established low income housing in downtown Charleston and initiated the Black Heritage Cultural Series as the first such project funded by the West Virginia Arts and Humanities Council and the Division of Culture and History.

English began his ministerial service at Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta where he served as the Assistant Minister to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and offered the prayer at the funeral of Dr. King. He graduated from Morehouse College and Morehouse School of Religion at the Interdenominational Theological Center in the Atlanta University Complex.

English has taught African-American history at WVSU, the University of Charleston and WVU Institute of Technology and served as adjunct instructor in Leadership Development at Wheeling Jesuit University and English at WVSU.

His essays and editorials on race relations and social justice have been featured in local newspapers and other publications, particularly on the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He worked on the administrative team that opened the Mt. Olive Correctional Complex, the state’s maximum security prison for adult offenders in Fayette County. In 2012 he was awarded the Governor’s Martin Luther King Living the Dream Award for Peace.  

English has moderated and produced public affairs programs for commercial and public television and is featured in the documentary “Blood on the Mountain” currently running on Netflix which was nominated for an Emmy in 2019.

WVSU holds commencement ceremonies in December and May of each year.

Follow West Virginia State University on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @WVStateU.
West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
- WVSU -
Scroll to Top