CWC Student Senate President Rachel Hofer Addressed the new students. (Michael Severen photo)

(Riverton, Wyo. ) – A procession of professors dressed in caps and gowns marched through campus to welcome the more than 200 new students to Rustler territory during the annual Central Wyoming College Convocation.   

“I’m pretty nervous right now, just meeting new people and classes, I’m afraid they’re going to be hard.” Said Rachel Tighe, a first year student and Nebraska native. “I got a free ride to come here and I’m going to be studying pre-health.”

Lander native and first year student Jessica Harvey echoed Rachel, saying she’s nervous about the workload that she’s going to have to take on. “I’m going for medical office so my goals are to complete that. And then I’m thinking of later on to come back for nursing when I have a little more time to do that.” she said.

But this welcome ceremony was not just for the young students who are starting a new chapter in their education, it also served as an inauguration ceremony for new CWC President Cristobal “Chris” Valdez. Valdez is taking the reigns from former president JoAnne McFarland who retired after 25 years of service at the end of June. CWC Trustees Chairman Charlie Krebs handed Valdez the college seal today symbolizing the transition. 

“It is a great opportunity for me, and I approach it with great humility and honor. Valdez said, “but it’s also an opportunity for us to continue a rich tradition in academia.”     

For many of the new students, starting to walk down the path of higher eduction is the hardest part. But as keynote speaker Andy Masters said, college gives you the opportunity to start fresh and to follow your passion.

“At this college there’s a path for everybody, there’s amazing things you can do.” Masters said during his speech at the Robert A. Peck Arts Center Theatre. “And incredible things you can do with those associates degrees. We see something in you, and we believe in you. Now let’s get you set up so you can do this, let’s go!”     

Classes begin September 2nd.

By Media Partner Michael Sevren of K2TV

Photos by Michael Sevren, click to enlarge