Alcorn graduates charged with ‘changing the world’

Published 11:03 pm Saturday, May 9, 2009

LORMAN — With determination in their eyes as much to the future as on their diplomas, 668 Alcorn State University graduates saw years of hard work and dedication come to fruition Saturday as they walked across the stage.

Alcorn President George Ross said the graduates are faced with a special responsibility at a turning point in American society.

“Each one of us is charged with responsibility to change the world for now and future generations,” Ross said.

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The graduates will achieve greatness by challenging the known and the unknown and by being fair and ensuring fairness, Ross said.

“You will be great by being willing to learn from those who are different from you,” he said.

The commencement speaker, Charlie Bridges, an Alcorn graduate and a Baton Rouge urologist, told the graduates that President Barack Obama’s campaign motto of “Yes, we can,” is symbolic, whether for the election of the nation’s first black President or the students’ graduation.

To graduate took planning, hard work, perseverance and delayed gratification, Bridges said.

“I am a firm believer that God helps those who help themselves, and in lieu of the financial malfeasance we have today, I might add not at the expense of others,” he said.

The graduates have the ability to change the world for the better, Bridges said, and he encouraged them to accept rigors, trials and tribulations enthusiastically.

“I firmly believe you are equal to the challenge,” he said.

Finally, he reminded them to remember Alcorn.

“We are Alcorn State University,” Bridges said. “Represent her with pride.”

Ross agreed.

“Remember that the university is you and the university will go with you wherever you go,” Ross said. “Carry it well, and use it to change the world.”

Golden diplomas were also awarded to 35 graduates who graduated from the university 50 years ago.