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VT Grad recognized by White House reflects on her time in college

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BLACKSBURG (WSLS10)-- There are more than 248,000 living Virginia Tech alumni from every state in the U.S. and more than 100 countries. Today, thousands of Virginia Tech seniors will add to the alumni count, graduating at Lane Stadium.

Claire Kelling is one of those graduates. During her time at VT, she has put in a lot of work-- joining countless service and academic clubs. Now, she's got the gear to prove it. When she walks at graduation, Claire will be wearing dozens of tassels and ribbons. Each one stands for a different club or activity she took part in, including the fact that she's graduating with honors, has been named the College of Science's Outstanding Senior and a Keystone Fellow.

Last month, Claire was even invited to the White House for a visit, where she was named a Champion of Change. She was selected for the hard work she's done with Take Back the Night and her efforts to stop sexual assault on college campuses.

Even with all of the recognition, the statistics and economics major has managed to stay humble.

"During the White House visit, I fell down a flight of stairs," she says. "I was wearing heels and this person had her purse in her hands and kind of dropped it. I just tripped right over it and fell down a flight of stairs. It was so humbling, because I'm at the White House, it's a pretty big deal, but I also fell down a flight of stairs."

Fortunately, she wasn't hurt and only one other person saw-- so she was able to recover quickly. Claire says she hopes things go more smoothly when she gives a speech tomorrow at her individual college's graduation. This fall, she will head to Penn State for graduate school where she will pursue a PhD in statistics.