Graduates at Alcorn State University reached the milestone of earning a college degree during this semester’s graduation ceremony.
The 2017 Fall Commencement was held Friday, Dec. 8 at the Davey L. Whitney HPER Complex. Dr. Donzell Lee, provost and executive vice president for The Office of Academic Affairs, delivered a powerful message to Alcorn’s newest alumni.
Lee began his speech by encouraging the graduates to visualize overcoming challenges to acquire success.
“You must see yourself as a successful person,” said Lee. “You must see yourself taking charge and pursuing a vision that you believe in. A successful person thinks beyond the obstacles.”
When speaking about their Alcorn degree, Lee assured the graduates of the weight that their academic credential carries. He motivated them to use it to its full potential.
“Never let anyone define who you are. Your degree really means something, and it will put you among a select group of individuals. I admonish you to be proud of your degree from Alcorn. Use it to help define who you are.”
Lee concluded his speech by encouraging the graduates to contribute to the success of their communities by giving back.
“Aspire to be change agents in your communities. At the core of who you are, you are here to help others. Help others because it is the right thing to do, not because you’ll receive something in return. I challenge you to give back to your community by volunteering your service, mentoring a delinquent child and helping the elderly. And as you prosper, don’t forget your alma mater.”
The scholars expressed their joy for graduating. Marlene Ware, who earned a bachelor’s degree in social work, felt proud to have crossed the finish line of her education. She thanks her loved ones for encouraging her to push through the challenges when times got rough.
“Graduating from Alcorn State University makes me feel proud to say that I’ve accomplished this goal, and it gives me the confidence to achieve so much more,” said Ware. “Thanks to my family and friends, I was able to press on when times got hard. I am glad to have a strong support system.”
Cordrion Tucker, who earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture, shared his pride for achieving the precious milestone.
“I’m elated to earn my degree,” said Tucker. “This is one of the greatest moments of my life.”
President Alfred Rankins Jr. wished the graduates well as they prepared to enter the next phase of their lives.
“I wish you great success,” said Rankins. “You have the tools you need to be successful in life because you have persevered and earned a degree from Alcorn State University.”