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MSU celebrates graduates at Spring 2023 Commencement  

Morehead State University honored nearly 800 graduates at ceremonies on May 13.  

Graduates celebrated their academic accomplishments with the MSU community. The ceremonies included congratulations from MSU President Dr. Jay Morgan.  

The morning ceremony honored graduates from the Ernst and Sara Lane Volgenau College of Education and the College of Science. The afternoon ceremony honored graduates from the Elmer R. Smith College of Business and Technology and the Caudill College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences.  

Keenan Conley (Class of 2023) of Salyersville served as the commencement speaker representing the College of Science. While at MSU, Conley completed the Rural Physician Leadership Program Bootcamp. He was one of five students awarded automatic conditional acceptance into the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Medicine through its Early Assurance Program. Conley is enrolling in the UK College of Medicine's Rural Physician Leadership Program as an M.D. (Medical Doctor) candidate.  

"Throughout our lives, we will experience obstacles that might seem insurmountable and all-consuming to the point that the light at the end of the tunnel is only a flicker or has extinguished entirely. Nevertheless, we must navigate every challenge in order to be stronger, more vigilant, and more determined," Conley said.  

Kelton Crank (Class of 2023) of Pikeville served as the commencement speaker representing Elmer R. Smith College of Business and Technology for the afternoon ceremony. Crank was awarded the James Still Fellowship and will continue his education by completing the Master of Health Administration program at the University of Kentucky. He aspires to be a director within the healthcare system and, eventually, a legislator focused on healthcare policy.  

"The world is a much different place than it was in the Fall of 2019, and I would argue that no graduating class of recent years, even decades, has endured as much change and challenge in such a short period of time as ours," Crank said. "Because of these hardships, I maintain that no collective is more equipped to change the world as those sitting before me today."    

ROTC students commissioned as a second lieutenant during the ceremony were Alexander Clay Back of Lexington, Jacob Wayne Buttry of Mt. Sterling, Catherine Rose Ortiz-Ramirez of Waynesburg, and Isaac James Shackelford of Cave City. Lieutenant Colonel Stephen Strack administered the oath. MSU also recognized ROTC students in a separate ceremony on May 12, along with commissioned ROTC student Dorothy Shipley of Brandenburg.  

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View the Spring 2023 Commencement program at

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