Alderson Broaddus University – Congratulates Class of 2016

On Saturday, May 7, Alderson Broaddus University held its 145th annual commencement ceremony in Rex Pyle Arena as 184 students successfully completed their college career.

This year’s commencement address was given by Senator William P. Cole III, President of the West Virginia Senate. Cole’s address to this year’s class, “The Solution is Within You”, challenged students to look within themselves and realize that their aspirations for the next chapter of their lives could be achieved with courage, determination, and faith.

Following the opening invocation by Dr. Danny Franke, President James “Tim” Barry welcomed students, faculty, families, friends, and community members to the ceremony.

After the welcome from President Barry, honorary degrees were presented to three recipients: J.D. Long, Doctor of Education, Michael B. Sisson, Doctor of Divinity, and William P. Cole III, Doctor of Public Service.

During the ceremony, the West Virginians performed the national anthem and “Depart in Peace”.

The Outstanding Faculty Award was presented to Dr. Andrea Bucklew. Class President Alycia M. (Horner) Perrine lead the students in the turning of the tassel as the new graduates officially became Alderson Broaddus alumni.

President Barry closed the ceremony with the “Charge to the Graduates” address, followed by the closing benediction, read by Chaplain Carl W. Gittings.


Alderson Broaddus University to hold 2016 commencement this Saturday, May 7

PHILIPPI, W.Va. – Alderson Broaddus University is excited for Republican Senator William P. Cole III to serve as the 2016 commencement speaker on Saturday, May 7, 2016, at 10 A.M. in Rex Pyles Arena in the Memorial Coliseum.

The traditional Nursing Pinning Ceremony will take place Friday, May 6, at 1 P.M. in Wilcox Chapel.

Senator William P. Cole III was elected to the West Virginia Senate in November 2012. As a Senator, he served on the Confirmations, Education, Government Organization, Health and Human Resources, Judiciary, Natural Resources, and Transportation and Infrastructure committees.

Prior to his service in the Senate, he was appointed to the West Virginia House of Delegates by Gov. Joe Manchin in May 2010 to fill a vacancy in the then-24th District.

A fifth-generation of businessman, Senator Cole began his career in his family’s heavy-duty truck dealership in Bluefield, and later expanded into five automobile dealerships in West Virginia and Kentucky, a manufacturing facility in Tennessee, and other business interests. Today, those businesses provide jobs to about 500 people.

By the age of 13, he was an Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. Senator Cole also is an ATP-rated (airline transport) pilot with 38 years and more than 4,000 total hours of flying experience. His ratings also include jet, helicopter, and seaplane.

Additionally, he serves on the board of directors of the Development Authority of the Greater Bluefield Area and the W. Paul Cole Jr. School of Business at Bluefield State College. In 2013, he was named as a Who’s Who in West Virginia Business by The State Journal.

Senator Cole is the son of Paul and Carol Cole of Bluefield. Cole earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and an associate’s degree in auto marketing from Northwood University in Michigan. He is married to Brownie Cole, and is the father of four children – Elizabeth, Taylor, Jason, and Lee.

Commencement will be streamed online with full audio and video for those relatives and friends who cannot make it to campus. Information regarding the weekend’s activities will be posted as it becomes available at: