ASU graduates receive diplomas

Published 2:03 am Sunday, May 11, 2008

LORMAN — After years of hard work, dedication and maybe a little partying, the 2008 graduating class of Alcorn State University walked across the stage Saturday and received their diplomas.

The featured speaker at this year’s commencement exercises was Georgia Congressman John Lewis, a long-time stalwart for civil rights.

Graduates of Alcorn should remember who they are, but they should also remember the graduates who went before them, the likes of whom include congressmen and civil rights activists, Lewis said.

Email newsletter signup

“This is your day,” Lewis said. “Take a deep breath and enjoy it. Tomorrow, wake up and roll up your sleeves and get to work bringing about a change.”

Graduates should not wait for someone else to bring about a change, be it government, family or friends, Lewis said.

“We didn’t have cell phones, Internet or even fax machines in the 1960s, but we used what we had to bring about a non-violent revolution,” he said. “Use what you have, not as an instrument just to do well, but to do good.”

Alcorn President George Ross expressed similar sentiments.

“Everyone of us is charged with the responsibility to change the world,” Ross said. “So I pose a question to you: how will you be great?”

After their preparation at Alcorn, Ross said he believes the students are ready to do just that.

“You have the knowledge, drive and experience to do something great by having the courage to move forward, be fair and by just being willing to learn from those who are not like ourselves,” he said.

As they leave Alcorn, the students will represent the school’s legacy, Ross said.

“The university will be with you wherever you go,” Ross said. “Carry it well.”