On Transformation: Commencement 2017

This week, we bid farewell to the Class of 2017. In three ceremonies on Wednesday and Thursday, I will have the honor of shaking hands with some 600 members of our graduating class, who are participating in commencement.

As we finish our second complete year as a University, we welcome the newest alumni group into a family of 30,000 sons and daughters of MGA. Commencement, as the word implies, is a beginning or a start. Armed with new credentials, our graduates prepare to start the next phase of their lives—whether in the workplace or in graduate school.

At the same time, our faculty and staff look forward to summer, a time when Middle Georgia State welcomes transient students from other institutions as it prepares for the academic year ahead. We anticipate that 2017-18 will be the first year in five, in which our budget is balanced and our state appropriations increased. For the most affordable university in the state, this is welcome news.

Our goal is to graduate students.  Indeed, that is the core mission of all universities and what we are judged by under Complete College Georgia. Saying goodbye to our students with a credential is a reason to celebrate our and their success. It also makes it essential we recruit, retain and graduate future classes.

This not only is the mission we celebrate this week, but also the resource reality that determines what decisions we can make as a University entering its third year in three short months. My thanks to each of you—faculty or staff—for bringing 1082 students to graduation this week. You have found your greatness, as well as theirs, in this year.

The ceremonies taking place this week are about more than a credential, compelling commencement speakers, or the celebration of another year in the books—they are about the very essence of why Middle Georgia State exists: to transform lives. Let us all enjoy the occasion and draw motivation for the year ahead!