More than 2,000 students to graduate at Wright State’s 2018 spring commencement

More than 2,000 students are expected to graduate during Wright State University’s 2018 spring commencement ceremony Saturday, April 28.

The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. in the Wright State Nutter Center. Tickets are required.

Longtime Dayton native Margaret Peters, whose teaching, writing and activism have had a profound impact in advancing civil rights and the field of African-American history, will receive an honorary degree during the ceremony.

The class of 2018 includes graduates with 1,429 bachelor’s degrees, 602 master’s, 15 doctorates of philosophy, as well as those awarded associate degrees and post-master’s certificates.

The class features graduates from 66 Ohio counties, including 1,461 from the 16 counties anchored by Wright State’s Dayton and Lake campuses. Graduates hail from a total of 27 states.

The class also includes 202 international students from 34 different nations. India boasts the largest number of foreign graduates with 70.

The graduating students from the class range in age from 19 to 85.

John Niklas will receive the first Wright State doctorate in interdisciplinary applied science and math.

Graduates by college:

  • College of Education and Human Services: 354
  • College of Engineering and Computer Science: 441
  • College of Liberal Arts: 467
  • College of Nursing and Health: 152
  • College of Science and Mathematics: 283
  • Raj Soin College of Business: 279
  • Lake Campus: 44

The commencement ceremony will be broadcast live on WSU-TV on Time Warner Cable channel 21.105 in the university dorms and Fairborn and regionally on AT&T Uverse channel 99 in the Dayton tab.

The ceremony can also be seen online at

Anyone unable to secure a ticket can also watch the ceremony remotely in the Wright State Student Union.


Notable class of 2018 graduates

Wright State senior David Baugham plans to use a supply chain management degree and experience in the nonprofit sector to build a career. (Photo by Will Jones)

Chain reaction

David Baugham, who is majoring in supply chain management and minoring in nonprofit management, also earned a certification in nonprofit management through Wright State’s Nonprofit Leadership Alliance, which provides training for the next generation of leaders in the social services sector

Baugham served as president of the alliance’s Wright State chapter and was appointed to the student council of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance national organization, raising the visibility of the campus program nationally.

“What I would like to do is combine my knowledge of supply chain with my love for the social sector and nonprofits and be able to use that to work as a project manager or director of a global relief organization such as the American Red Cross,” said Baugham.

Baugham has interned and worked at Good Samaritan Hospital. He and his parents have also worked as simulation patients at the Wright State Boonshoft School of Medicine, helping train medical students by pretending to be sick patients or their family members.

Baugham is active in student leadership. He served as director of academic affairs for the Student Government Association, then speaker of the House and, most recently, president.

He also has musical talent. He was the 2013 winner of the “So You Think You Can Play the Schuster?” regional arts competition, using his prized guitar to outperform more than a dozen finalists on the stage of the Dayton theater.

After graduating, Baugham plans to pursue his master’s degree in public health in the Healthcare Management program at Yale University.

As part of her Newman Civic Fellowship, Stephanie Patino-Garfias has worked with refugees to help them understand their legal rights. (Photo by Erin Pence)

Latino locomotive

Stephanie Patino-Garfias, who is majoring in political science and international studies with a minor in Arabic, is an activist in the areas of immigration, social justice and human rights.

When she was a freshman, she helped raise money for the families of 43 students from a teachers’ college in Mexico who were kidnapped in 2014 and feared to have been killed. She met with two of the family members and gave them a $1,000 donation that had been raised in three weeks at Wright State.

Patino-Garfias was selected for a 2017 Newman Civic Fellowship, a prestigious national program that seeks to develop a new generation of leaders who can build relationships and bridge differences to address inequality and polarization in the nation’s communities.

As part of the fellowship, she met with immigrants from Guatemala, El Salvador and the former Burma, now known as Myanmar. She actually accompanied an immigration attorney into the fields and spoke to farmworkers about their legal rights. She later created her own outreach program and went into the schools to talk about immigration rights. She also gave a “Know Your Rights” presentation to immigrants at the Mexican consulate when it held office hours in Dayton.

Patino-Garfias has studied abroad in India and Morocco, where she helped feed Syrian refugees. This summer, she will take part in an internship program in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Institute on Economics and International Affairs designed for people interested in the Foreign Service or working on international policy issues.

Megan Valle, a senior musical theatre major, documented her time at Wright State by taking a photo every day. (Photo by Erin Pence)

Photo finish

The memories grip the wall of her apartment bedroom — row after row of snapshots. More than 400 in all.

There are photos of friends, plays, tai chi, a cup of coffee, a slice of pizza and even a professor skiing to class. They were taken by Megan Valle, a senior musical theatre major at Wright State University who has become known as “The Girl With the Camera Usually in Her Hand.”

Valle has taken a photo at Wright State nearly every day since Aug. 27, 2015, when she arrived on campus to begin her sophomore year. As a result, she has a colorful, growing photographic tapestry of her final three years at the university staring back at her.

At Wright State, Valle has performed in about a dozen productions, including “Peter Pan,” “Chicago,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “Miss Mayor,” “No, No, Nanette!,” “Children’s Hour,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Mystery of Edwin Drood.” She has taken dance and acting classes, done some directing and choreographing and wrote her own one-person show.

“I’m really grateful just to come to Wright State and be able to do what I love every day,” she said. “…I couldn’t have asked for a better four years in college.”

Eventually, Valle wants to pursue a theater career in New York City. In the meantime, she is heading to Short North Stage in Columbus in June to do a professional production of Assassins.


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