Grace led to ASU graduation

Published 12:03 am Monday, May 9, 2011

These words of acknowledgment will never be forgotten because of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Good morning, my name is Elizabeth Proby Jones, a 76-year-old senior citizen, a native and resident of Adams County in Natchez. First and foremost, I would like to give all praises to the Lord God Almighty for giving me a desire and determination to recently complete a master’s degree.

Of course, being the age that I am, I thought that this dream would not have been possible. However, all things are possible, if we only believe in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Lord had placed on my mind many years ago to go back to school and receive what He and I have achieved as a self-fulfilling prophecy.

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This was not a test of mine, but a test from God. He has instilled in me that faith is the key that unlocks all doors, and I am a firm believer of that because of the milestones that I have walked through during this tedious and time consuming journey that will be a legacy that will never be forgotten by family, friends and fellow citizens of our society.

I do encourage, as a retired educator from the past 32 years in both Mississippi and Louisiana, all young people across America, never give up on your dreams regardless of how impossible it may seem. Oftentimes, I would want to give up, but the spirit in me was a testimony of God’s faith in me. If I had a thousand tongues it would not be enough to tell the Lord, “Thank you, Sir.”

Therefore, I would like to take this glorious opportunity to extend a number of farewell thanks to the many people who have helped to make this successful expedition possible.

If it were not for the continuous presence of the Holy Spirit, this seemingly never ending journey would hot have reached its final destination point. I would like to thank our President of the United States, The Honorable Barack H. Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, and to the House of Congress for their educational stimulus package support I received in helping young and old to go back to school and receive an education.

I would like to thank the president of Alcorn State University, Dr. M. Christopher Brown II, staff, faculty and student body for the infinite amount of encouragement and support as a senior citizen.

I would like to thank my family members, one daughter and her husband, Jowanna K. Brown and the Rev. Herman Brown of New Orleans; three sons, John Edward Proby and Danyae of Houston, Texas, Michael L. Proby of Los Angeles, Kent Bernard Proby and Sherry Proby of Atlanta and Charlie Gooden and Shirley of Natchez; and other relatives and friends.

I would also like to thank my brother and his wife, the Rev. Willie Gooden and Linda Gooden of Natchez, my sister and her husband Mary Marshall and Robert Marshall of Natchez for their love and encouragement. I would like to give a special thanks to Dr. Ruby S. AsSabor, supervisor for special services for her inspirational support in the field of special education, my pastor of the Milford Baptist Church and First Lady, the Rev. Eddie Allsworth and Anita Allsworth of Loyd Star, and to Clifford Ford of Natchez, a very supporting cohost for many, many years.

Finally, I would like to thank all of my classmates for their strong support system that we provided for each other. I would not have made it through this program if we didn’t have each other to lean on.

In closing, I have closed this chapter in my life, and I would truly hope that others will open the good book to read the many opportunities that God has in store for you.

Elizabeth Proby Jones graduated from Alcorn State University with her master’s degree on Saturday.