Co-Lin graduates give thanks

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 18, 2008

NATCHEZ — It was a cheerful — and for some tearful — night Friday at the Natchez Convention Center for the 36th Commencement Ceremonies for Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Natchez campus.

Approximately 130 graduates received degrees or certificates before a standing-room-only gathering.

“Lord, I thank you for the wisdom that was given to the faculty and staff of Copiah-Lincoln to offer each of the students the encouragement that they needed to strive for perfection,” said Cindy Marie Foley in her invocation. “I would like to offer up praise for allowing us to make it here on one accord to take part in this memorable day. The road has not always been easy but I thank you for giving us the determination and the will to keep going.”

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In her commencement speech, graduate Mary Kate Byrne shared her emotions about Co-Lin.

“When each of us began at Co-Lin, we had dreams, goals, certain things we wanted to accomplish,” she said. “Co-Lin was the perfect fit and helped each of us do just that. No matter what our plans are for our lives after this evening, we need to remember the place and the people who have gotten us to where we are sitting now.”

She praised the Co-Lin faculty for guiding and helping students. “All of our instructors have taken a genuine interest in our lives. They know our names and our faces and our personalities. They know when we worked to our potential, and when we did not, they reminded us to pick it up. They were there all along challenging us while cheering us along with their encouraging words. We owe them so much, and once again, thank you just does not seem enough.”

Graduate Roy Sessions offered a different perspective. “This graduation is a one of those moments for us; this is truly a high point but life does not stop here, he said. Go on from here to greater things; do not let this be the highest point in your life. Live your life in such a way that when you look back over your accomplishment and start to compile that mental resume of your life, you can use dynamic phrases such as ‘I developed, I discovered, I was instrumental, I overcame, I created.’”

In Byrne’s speech, she said, “I believe I speak for everyone when I say it is an honor to be called a Co-Lin graduate. Congratulations class of 2008 and good luck in all of your new beginnings.”