Co-Lin Natchez graduates 143 students

Published 12:01 am Saturday, May 14, 2016

NATCHEZ — Copiah-Lincoln Community College’s Natchez campus awarded diplomas to 143 students Friday night at the Natchez Convention Center.

For some graduates, such as respiratory therapy graduate Rachel Allred the next chapter is entering the workforce.

Allred said she would miss being a student as well.

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“I’m glad I’m finished, but sad I have to leave,” Allred said. “I’m really glad that I made it this far. There were so many days that you think you won’t make it.”

For others, such as Fredrick Lane Sr., graduation is a step to furthering education. Lane plans to continue his education at Alcorn to receive a degree in business administration.

Phi Theta Kappa President Aaron Uram said he was proud of his classmates’ accomplishment, and drew their attention to the changes in their lives during his commencement speech.

“This night is different,” Uram said. “It represents change. The change is the direction you are now about to embark on in your life’s work.”

He went on to explain the significance of the degrees each student earned.

“Stop and think about what this degree means,” Uram said. “It doesn’t just represent a tome of knowledge you have acquired while at Copiah-Lincoln. It symbolizes commitment. When an employer looks at your new degree, what they really see is a certificate in commitment. Your new degree says you can commit part of your life to one objective and work hard in achieving that goal.”

Uram then told a story of one of his mentors, Robert Savino.

One Christmas around 1990, Uram said Savino was not going to be financial capable of having Christmas presents for his wife and kids.

Then, Savino was called to his boss’s office. After arriving, his boss asked him to have a seat, and he began to worry.

Savino was handed an envelope, Uram said. Inside was more than enough money to cover Christmas.

“(Savino) jumped out of his chair and started dancing around the room,” Uram said. “He almost had a heart attack, which I guess he liked the feeling of, because he has gone on to have about five more throughout his life.”

The point of Uram’s story was Savino received that money because of his commitment to customer service.

Uram went on to encourage his classmates to follow their dreams and do what they can to achieve their goals.

“It doesn’t even matter if you reach your destination,” Uram said. “It only matters that you never lost sight of your goals.”