Celebrating Commencement for the Class of 2024

By Alissa Paolella, Communications Manager
Posted May 13 2024
central state university class of 2024 on the football field with a packed stadium

Early morning clouds and intermittent storms gave way to stunning sunshine and clear blue skies over Wilberforce on May 11 as Central State University celebrated the remarkable achievements of the Class of 2024 with the spring Commencement Ceremony. 

Excitement filled the air at William Patrick McPherson Memorial Stadium with the jam-packed home stands and nearly full visitor seating across the field. The day began with the annual alumni breakfast and networking for the Golden Class of 1974 and faculty and staff volunteers who assisted with the ceremony.  

This year’s Commencement was even more special than usual. The Class of 1974 showed up in great numbers, with approximately 30 classmates in attendance — an impressive showing for a class celebrating a 50th anniversary. They are survivors of the devastating April 3, 1974, Xenia tornado, which threatened Central State’s very existence. However, the class joined with administrators, faculty, staff, alumni, and others who love CSU to rebuild and continue graduation plans for that June. Their resilience laid an indestructible foundation for generations to come.  

Those celebrating 50 years since their induction as Centralians have much in common with the Class of 2024, known as “the COVID class.” These recent graduates were high school seniors during the first year of the coronavirus pandemic, which led to the cancelation of their high school graduation ceremonies and many activities during their first semester at college. Their transition to college was anything but typical as they found creative ways to connect while keeping one another safe. Their bond is strong today.  

Each of these classes persevered with determination and grit, never giving up hope. On May 11, that hope was on full display, transformed into pride at all they’ve accomplished and the love of their alma mater they share.  

Use the left and right arrows below to browse through photos from Commencement activities from May 9-11 and observe the joy and excellence permeated from these scholars. See more photos.