West Coast University-Miami hosted its first commencement ceremony this July, with more than 400 friends and family in attendance to witness the inaugural group receive their diplomas.
“We’re setting history. We had 70 graduates — very exciting” WCU-Miami Executive Director Joshua Padron said after the event. “We had to wait one year for them to graduate so it is very special. We’ll never have a first one again and we’re just delighted this happened today.”
Commencement valedictorian Jessica Jorge made sure her fellow bachelor of science in nursing graduates knew that no matter how many hardships they had encountered along the way, they had survived.
"My journey has been a difficult one, both academically and personally. I’ve been through a lot of things these past three years so, for me, today is a huge day because it’s finally the end of everything I’ve been working toward,” Jorge said. “I was honored, not to just be speaking as valedictorian but also because it’s West Coast University’s first commencement ceremony in Miami."
While at WCU-Miami, BSN graduate Elizabeth Lorenzo had made the honor roll, joined an honor society and attended the global public health program in South Korea.
Lorenzo, who recently passed her NCLEX exam, said that while commencement was a special experience, few things compared to the feeling of passing her nursing boards.
“You can’t really explain it until you pass the NCLEX,” Lorenzo said. “It’s a relief. It’s that feeling of you’re done, you did it. No matter what, no one can take that away from you. You’re a nurse.”