YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown State University is honoring its newest group of graduates. The university held a commencement ceremony Sunday afternoon at Beeghly Center.
On Sunday, 615 students left Beeghly Center with degrees from bachelor’s to master’s to even two students receiving doctoral degrees.
“Without YSU, I wouldn’t be where I am today,” said Savannah Franks, a nursing graduate.
Many YSU graduates have overcome a lot to receive their degrees. Mohammed Khan is an international student who majored in civil engineering.
“Coming here from India was a big change for me. It’s a life-changing experience and YSU definitely added to it,” Khan said.
For some, becoming a college graduate was something they just didn’t think was in the cards for them. Kyle Goodbee is a liberal arts graduate and proud YSU football player.
“Growing up, I didn’t think I was ever going to go to college, and then after that, I didn’t think I was ever going to play Division I football. So the fact that I’m actually able to play — and I played here, had a great time — I’m just glad that I got to graduate from one of the best universities on the East Coast,” Goodbee said.
YSU alumna and now current Judge Aliyah Sabree gave the keynote address for the day. She stepped foot on YSU’s campus back in 2002 on a basketball scholarship. After graduating in 2006, she went off to law school at Michigan State.
At the ceremony, Sabree received an honorary Doctor of Laws degree, the highest honor a university can bestow upon an individual.
“Youngstown gave me a chance, Youngstown created this opportunity for me that I didn’t have from everywhere else and look at me now. So I’m always proud to say that I’m a Youngstown graduate,” Sabree said.
YSU graduates say they’re excited to embark on new journeys.
“School is tough definitely, it’s challenging, but it makes you something else. You become a better person,” Khan said.