Commencement – A New Beginning

This week we shall celebrate the graduation of another cohort of MGA students at our Commencement Exercises. Although Independence Day is six months away in the heat of summer, for these 400+ students who will cross the stage on Thursday it will for many of them feel like they have achieved an extraordinary sense of independence!  And they shall join our ever-expanding family of alumni across the state, nation and world.

It is a joyous occasion, and my only sadness is that some who achieve graduation are unable to attend the Commencement Exercises.  For those attending, they will participate in a ritual that is centuries old, that reminds us that the powerful present is connected to the past and future, and that in Commencement we honor first a new beginning – a beginning with the empowerment of a degree that will forever change the lives of the graduating students and the communities in which they will live, work, grow old and offer the world their talents.

Our Commencement Speaker this Thursday will be Colonel Drew Lyle of Robins Air Force Base.  We will on that day learn more about his extraordinary accomplishments and his service to community, to Georgia and to the nation.  He will speak as a senior representative of the Armed Services and as a citizen of the United States, who reminds us that our work in public education is intricately connected to the many organizations, lives, communities and activities that democracy needs if we are to sustain freedom of thought, action and hope in the 21st century.  Colonel Drew is a powerfully fitting person to speak to that tradition and we are grateful and honored that he will be with us at our Commencement Exercises to help our graduates understand the new role they have in building our Republic and in our building our global family.

Our world needs MGA’s graduates.  Times are indeed challenging and our lives get harder as we grow.  I am proud and thankful that our faculty have prepared our students for that world and challenge.  And I am proud that our staff have worked so hard to guide, support and inform our students on how to navigate their educational journey to this wonderful point of graduation.  I know we have so much to celebrate on Thursday and so much we can wish for our graduates.  Their success is our success, and our faculty and staff can take great pride in a job well done in helping our graduates meet this new beginning.  Please be there on Thursday to join me in wishing them, “Godspeed”!!