W&J’s Class of 2017 Ready to Take on Prestigious Jobs, Graduate Programs

Created: May 23, 2017  |  Last Updated: January 15, 2020  |  Category:   |  Tagged:

WASHINGTON, PA (May 23, 2017) – Washington & Jefferson College’s (W&J) Class of 2017 already has a bright future, with graduates prepared to take on jobs and internships with prestigious corporations, to serve well-known local and national organizations, and to attend demanding graduate programs in which they are poised to succeed.

The College graduated 256 students in its 218th Commencement Ceremony, held May 20, 2017.

“Four years ago, many of us gathered on this same ground for the Matriculation ceremony that marked the entrance of this class into W&J…Today, we will complete the cycle, marking their transition from college students to college graduates,” W&J President Dr. Tori Haring-Smith told the class. “Four years ago, you were different people than you are today. You have changed and grown.”

Some students, like Ty Greenwood ‘17, will enter challenging arts programs, where they will influence and reflect today’s society through their work. Greenwood, who made his writing and directorial debut at W&J this spring with his play This Kind of HATE, will will attend Miami University of Ohio, for a Master of Arts in Performance, Theatre, and Practice.

Others will attend prestigious math and science programs, helping to shape our understanding of the world through their extensive research. Rachel Nye ‘17, the Class of 2017 valedictorian, will pursue a Ph.D. in engineering from North Carolina State University; Hannah Swearingen ’17 will begin a position as a research health science specialist at the Providence VA Center for Neurorestoration and Neurotechnology in Providence, R.I.

Still others will join their education with service to the community. Alexandra Hudon ’17 and Hope Butterfield ’17 will both embark on assignments with Teach for America. Hudon will teach high school science in Treasure Valley, Idaho and Butterfield will teach English in Memphis, Tenn.

Haring-Smith said that no matter where the Class of 2017 lands, what challenges they face, or what path they choose, they will be ready to take on anything.

“You are ready because you have learned how to know the difference between fact and opinion, between hypothesis and conclusion, between evidence-based truth and unfounded conjecture,” Haring-Smith said. “As you go forth into a world where legitimate news and fake news are sometimes indistinguishable,  you will need the skills you have learned here to test statements, to question logic, and to be curious about the validity of sources. But you are ready.”

In addition to the students named above, Class of 2017 graduates also are headed to these schools and organizations, among others:

Graduate Schools:

  • Carnegie Mellon University
  • Columbia University
  • Duquesne University
  • George Washington University: Elliott School of International Affairs
  • Oberlin College
  • Temple University
  • University of North Carolina
  • University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • University of Michigan

Companies and Organizations:

  • Bank of New York Mellon – Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Consolidated Electrical Distributors – Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Ernst & Young – Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Enterprise Holdings – Portland, Or.
  • Grant Street Group – Boston, Mass.
  • KPMG – Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers – Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Schneider Downs – Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Sisterson & Co. – Pittsburgh, Pa.


About Washington & Jefferson College

Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.

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