Speakers encouraged about 400 graduates in the College of Professional Studies to continue learning and to help others in the Smith Center Saturday.
Michael Weiner, the chief medical officer of Maximus, a company that provides health services to governments around the world, and student speaker Edward Garcia addressed the crowd at the celebration. Several students also received awards from distinguished faculty members for their excellence in academics.
Weiner called on students to “never stop learning” after graduation and to thank individuals who have given them opportunities to help them achieve their goals. He said students should also take time to give back to others who have helped them through their life journey.
“Take a moment to inspire someone to be as great as you are going to be,” Weiner said.
He encouraged graduates to “live with abundance” and to be thoughtful about how they spend their “1,144 minutes” each day. Graduates should remember to take care of their health to reach their full potential, Weiner said.
“You have already invested a great deal in yourself and so many people are here in support of you tonight,” he said. “Take care of yourself.”
Four students and one faculty member received awards recognizing their outstanding academic achievements.
During the ceremony, Diane Morgan, a paralegal studies professor, earned the faculty excellence award for working through Hurricane Florence, which left her home severely damaged. During the time of the disaster, Morgan did not ask for work extensions and communicated with students through email and video calls.
Garcia, the student speaker who served in the military for 19 years and is married with two daughters, called on graduates to work hard throughout their lives. In doing so, graduates will be rewarded for their resilience, Garcia said.
“Ninety-five percent of what gets done in the world is showing up, doing work and volunteering,” he said.
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