Thirty-seven graduating West Virginia University international studentsrepresenting 19 countrieswill be honored Friday (May 15) at a special reception.

WVU s International Student Graduation Reception will be from 4-6 p.m. at the new Erickson Alumni Center. More than 80 international students and families are expected to attend the event.

The families have traveled from Colombia, China, Japan, India, Argentina, Costa Rica, Trinidad and Tobago, Turkey, Ghana, Peru, Brazil, Kuwait, Iraq, Kenya, Mexico, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

It is a bittersweet time of year as these students we have worked with over the last four or five years are preparing to move on and continue their lives outside of Morgantown,said Michael Wilhelm, director of the Office of International Students and Scholars.

I am pleased that so many students and visiting family members will be able to join us at the reception this Friday, giving the Office of International Students and Scholars, Student Life and the Alumni Association a final chance to say goodbye and let them know once again how much we appreciate the time that they have spent with us here at WVU ,he said.

Morgantown Mayor Ron Justice will present the students with certificates declaring them honorary citizens of the city of Morgantown.

Speakers include Wilhelm; Ayumi Tsuda, who is receiving a masters degree in professional accountancy; Stephen Douglas, president and chief executive officer of the WVU Alumni Association; and Tom Sloane, senior associate dean of students.

About 1,400 international studentsrepresenting more than 100 countriesattend WVU .

For more information on WVU s Office of International Students and Scholars, visit http://oiss.wvu.edu/ .