Marshall University Professor Rachael Peckham will present the keynote December Commencement address on Saturday, Dec. 9, at Mountain Health Arena in Huntington.Peckham is a professor of English at Marshall University, teaching courses in the art and literature of creative nonfiction, including autobiography, memoir and the personal essay. Since joining Marshall University’s faculty in 2009, Peckham has been awarded a Distinguished Artists and Scholars Award for junior faculty; a Pickens-Queen Teaching Award; a John Marshall University Scholars Summer Award; a Hedrick Teaching Fellowship; and most recently, the Hedrick Outstanding Faculty Award for 2022-2023.

Marshall’s commencement will feature one ceremony, beginning at 10 a.m. with President Brad D. Smith presiding. Among the 1,100 graduates between summer and fall, more than 500 are expected to participate in the ceremony.

U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin will also deliver special greetings to the December graduates.

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Parking is available in the parking garage on Third Avenue across from Mountain Health Arena. In addition, parking is available in the Pullman Square garages for a minimal fee. All three parking garages are in reasonable walking distance of the arena.


Mountain Health Arena has implemented security procedures such as walk-through metal detectors for all events occurring in the building, including Marshall’s commencement ceremonies. Graduates and guests should allow additional time to make it through security and find seats before the ceremony begins.

Prohibited items include illegal drugs or substances, outside food and drink, knives, guns, pepper spray, lasers, glow sticks, fireworks, wallet chains, sharp spiked jewelry, selfie sticks, tripods and umbrellas. It is important to note the arena has a clear bag policy. For a full list of prohibited items, please visit


Professional photographers will be at the stage area during the ceremony to take pictures of each graduate.

Ceremony available on the web

The commencement ceremonies will be streamed live on the web. The link will be available on the main Marshall University website at

For more information about commencement,

**Press release from Marshall University – Office of University Marketing and Communications – December 5, 2023

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