Dr. Charlie Bridges encourages graduates at Alcorn’s 2018 Fall Commencement to work hard and persevere

Alcorn State University's graduating seniors waved the university goodbye as they received their degrees during this year's fall graduation.

The University held its 2018 Fall Commencement Friday, Dec. 7 at the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex. Dr. Charlie Bridges, former president of the Louisiana State Urological Society and current board member of the Alcorn State University Foundation, Inc., gave the keynote speech.

Bridges began his speech by congratulating the students on their accomplishment. He encouraged them to use their moment as a motivating tool to remain focused on reaching their goals.

"You have completed an integral part of your journey," said Bridges. "What is happening today will sharpen your focus so that you can concentrate on the ultimate goals that you have set for your lives. The challenge, now, is to step out and establish yourself in your chosen profession. Your journey continues."

Bridges shed light on the value of the students' college education. He charged them to be advocates of higher education in spite of the obstacles they may face.

"Education has been the formula for a consistent standard living for people in our community. You must be diligent in your thoughts and remain mindful that education is under siege today due to the lack of funding. But despite the hurdles, we will continue to produce the best students. Remember that education is power." 

Bridges also inspired the students to keep their alma mater going strong by giving back in the future.

"Never forget Alcorn State University.  This institution has paved the way for your success. Giving back to Alcorn ensures that it will be here to help educate those that follow you."

To conclude his address, Bridges assured the graduates that if they continue to work hard, they will experience much success in the future.

"With continued hard work and perseverance, your path in life has no boundaries. Don't be afraid to accept the rigors that will come your way. The work ethic that got you to this point will continue to serve you well. I give you a charge to never let obstacles stand in your way. Never be deterred, live long, and prosper."

The graduates were proud of reaching the pinnacle of their educational journey. LaKeria Tubbs, who received a bachelor's degree in biology, anticipates a wealth of opportunities after graduation.

"I am excited about graduation because I get to start a new chapter filled with new opportunities," said Tubbs.

Thomas Mayfield, who received a master's degree in workforce education and leadership, appreciates the journey that has led him to his latest accomplishment.

"This was a long process," said Mayfield. "It took me two years to reach this goal, and I am thankful for the chance to walk across the stage for a second time."

Interim President Dr. Donzell Lee ended the ceremony by congratulating the students and wishing them continued success.