Wiley College welcomes Tavis Smiley to celebrate 125th commencem - KYTX CBS 19 Tyler Longview News Weather Sports

Wiley College welcomes Tavis Smiley to celebrate 125th commencement

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MARSHAL (KYTX) - As Wiley College wraps up one more academic year, the historically black institution is marking it's 125th commencement ceremony. To mark the special day, Hollywood Walk of Fame Star recipient Tavis Smiley delivered the keynote address.

The day has come for hundreds of Wiley College Students to become college graduates.

Danielle Daniels said,"It's been hard but i've enjoyed every moment of it."

"Anyone that thinks they can't do they can," said Matt Allison.

Hundreds filled the gymnasium to witness the 125th commencement. Since Wiley opened it's doors, academic excellence has been the prime goal. In the past few years, the institution has grown academically through development and enrollment.

"Here is a place with history, and a legacy of academic," said college President Haywood Strickland.

Strickland has been in office for the last 15 years. In just a few short years, he said college enrollment has soared from 500 to nearly 1500.

"We're excited about the fact that we are progressing."

In addition to the excitement surrounding another successful graduating class, broadcast mogul Tavis Smiley delivered the commencement keynote address.

A message delivered through Smiley's speech called for graduates to choose their futures wisely.

" I hope they will start now, how they are going to leave behind a life of commitment," Smiley said.

It's a future Daniels is looking forward to.

"I bleed purple and white, I love my school...i'm definitely gonna miss them."

The college president said over the next few years, he expects enrollment to continue to rise. So far they've built a new residence hall, a new cafeteria and some are hoping the growing continues right along with the growing enrollment.

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