Emory & Henry College’s School of Health Sciences Graduates Record-Breaking Class and Two Inaugural Cohorts

by Billy Chandler

On Saturday, August 12, at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center in Abingdon, Va., 103 students graduated from Emory & Henry College’s School of Health Sciences, marking a milestone of the largest graduating class to date. Additionally, the College celebrated the inaugural cohorts of the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and the Doctor of Occupational Therapy. Many other students graduated with a Master of Physician Assistant Studies or a Doctorate of Physical Therapy.

“Class of 2023, we salute you,” declared Emory & Henry President Dr. John W. Wells to the graduates. “You’ve persevered during these unprecedented times, demonstrating great resilience and unwavering commitment to your goal of earning your degree. You have made many sacrifices and put in many long hours of studying while also providing high-quality health care to your patients during this global pandemic. We have no doubt that you will be true leaders in your chosen healthcare profession.”

Emory & Henry College’s Health Sciences campus was launched in 2014 to prepare compassionate, patient-centered, highly-skilled healthcare professionals who provide quality patient care and actively engage in leadership and service opportunities within their professional organizations and communities. The College began offering Occupational Therapy in 2016 as a Master’s program and has since graduated 128 students. The Master of Occupational Therapy was replaced by the doctoral program in the fall of 2020 and celebrates members of the class of 2023 as the first to graduate from the doctoral program. The Master of Clinical Mental Health Counseling was launched in the fall of 2021 as a 24-month program and one of the region’s most affordable The program at Emory & Henry is ideally suited to meet the needs of this region by providing excellent training for qualified mental health counselors.

“The world is in desperate need of your love, but what I have seen in the last year is a desperate need to know we are loved,” said Washington County native, Joshua von Castle ’07, ’17 and ’23, who spoke at the commencement on behalf of the inaugural cohort of the Master of Science in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. “What may seem like good common sense has become an increasingly revolutionary idea in our world; to give and receive love. May we all, each of us present here today practice this, the most important work of our lives,” he continued. Von Castle recently accepted a position at Highlands Community Services in Abingdon, Va., where he will provide community mental health services focusing on various mental health and substance use needs.

Emory & Henry College is proud to celebrate the significant milestones reached by both the College and the honorable class of 2023. For more information on the Emory & Henry College School of Health Sciences and its programs, please visit www.ehc.edu/shs.

“What may seem like good common sense has become an increasingly revolutionary idea in our world; to give and receive love. May we all, each of us present here today practice this, the most important work of our lives.”
-Joshua von Castle ’07, ’17 and ’23

Location:

Abingdon, Virginia

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