Congratulations, ETSU Class of 2023

Published 12:41 pm Monday, May 8, 2023

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JOHNSON CITY – East Tennessee State University celebrated more than 2,000 members of the Class of 2023 during two Commencement ceremonies held at the Ballad Health Athletic Center Saturday, May 6.

During the morning ceremony, Coach Brenda Mock Brown was the keynote speaker.

Named head coach of the ETSU Women’s Basketball program in 2022, she is the 10th head coach in program history. She led the team to a historic season, with a 25-10 overall record this season for a 19-win improvement from the previous season. The improvement is the seventh-best turnaround in NCAA women’s basketball history. She was voted by her peers as the 2022-23 Southern Conference Coach of the Year.

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In her speech, she shared insights from her life and stories from her first season at ETSU, recounting some of the team’s struggles, victories and lessons learned.

“Work to build and sustain meaningful relationships in your life; that is the substance of life,” Brown said. “Identify your strengths and share them for the benefit of others. Remember all work is valuable and learn to struggle forward while keeping joy at the center of your work.”

At the afternoon ceremony, Dr. Dennis Depew, dean emeritus of the ETSU College of Business and Technology (CBAT), delivered the keynote address. A first-generation college student, Depew earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from ETSU and a Ph.D. from Purdue University. He served as the CBAT dean from 2014 until he retired in 2021. During this time, he led the college through a period of expansion, particularly in the MBA and computing programs.

In his speech, Depew recounted his memories of graduating from ETSU and encouraged the graduates to remember and thank those who have helped them along their journey and find ways to do the same for others.

“The ETSU experience changed my life, and the ETSU experience will change your life, as well,” Depew said.

Of Saturday’s graduates, 215 attained cum laude distinction, 308 earned magna cum laude, and 291 attained summa cum laude, the highest honors. In addition, ETSU recognized the 11 graduates who were commissioned as second lieutenants in the United States Army and 11 graduates who were inducted into ETSU’s 1911 Society.

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