On Commencement

This week we bid farewell to the graduating class of 2015, the final class in our life as a state College.  The 1,250 “sons” and “daughters” of Middle Georgia State who leave with an associate or baccalaureate degree will take their education into their communities, professions and families with the promise of self-improvement and community-enhancement.

These individuals have worked hard to reach this milestone, which required the excellence of their faculty, the support of staff, the encouragement of peers, and the commitment of their families and loved ones.  They exemplify the truth that learning is a social activity, not a solitary activity, and that if they see things far off, it’s because they “stand on the shoulders of giants” in their lives.  This is a week in which celebration should be coupled with gratitude to others.

For us faculty and staff, we can be grateful that our transition to being a University on July 1st is happening because of the Class of 2015 and all those Classes that preceded them.  We need to thank them for transitioning us to this place.  It is our institutional history and our students’ legacies that have delivered the promise of University education and designation.  So we honor and thank them.  Their success is what has created the reward and promise of an even stronger University mission to the people of middle Georgia.

In a few weeks we will join the rest of the nation in celebrating Independence Day.  In a sense, this Commencement is a moment of renewed independence for all our graduates, who face life’s opportunities and challenges with strengthened experience, credentials and education.  We know that they, like the thousands of alumni who already have left our halls, are equipped to strengthen the Common Good and make a positive difference in a world when ignorance and strife are too prevalent.

Education combats those negatives, and our Middle Georgia State graduates are now ready to further that goal.  I thank each of our faculty and staff for helping them do this.  Congratulations to the Class of 2015, and to all of you who have helped them to this place and moment!