Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake held its commencement ceremony Friday afternoon celebrating one of its biggest group of grads in a long time. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake held its commencement ceremony Friday afternoon celebrating one of its biggest group of grads in a long time. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

WATCH: Commencement 2018 at TRU Williams Lake

TRU saw one of its biggest group of graduates in a long time walk across the stage Friday afternoon

Graduates at Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake Campus celebrated their commencement Friday afternoon in the gym packed with family, friends and supporters.

Beaming after the ceremonies, campus executive director Ray Sanders said he was very proud.

“We had one of the biggest classes we’ve had in a long long time,” Sanders told the Tribune. “This is what we’re here for. We’re here for the students’ success and to celebrate with them.”

Practical nursing graduate Jyssica Miller was the 2018 valedictorian and seized the opportunity to thank the faculty and her fellow graduates for helping the students succeed.

“We all have the capacity of doing something great and we have already proven that through our attendance here today,” she said as she encouraged the students never to underestimate the power they have to be successful and make a difference.

Having a university in Williams Lake is a bonus, she added.

“Many of us can stay home, instead of moving somewhere for school.”

Miller encouraged the students to be proud of what they’ve done, and recognized the international students who have come from other countries to go to school in Williams Lake.

Born and raised in Williams Lake, Miller was the 2007 Stampede Princess and is a member of the Cariboo Chilcotin Metis Association.

In the fall of 2019 she plans to return to school in Quesnel to complete the bachelor of nursing program.

Cultural teacher Floyd Dyck led the procession out the gym, followed by the faculty, official representatives and then the graduating students.

Watch as the academic staff files out of the ceremonies followed by the graduates.

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