Lt. Governor speaks

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 13, 2001

at Troy State graduation


Staff Writer

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More than 520 graduates from Troy State University were told they are "necessary for Alabama to make progress."

That was part of the message they were given by Alabama Lt. Gov. Steve Windom during commencement exercises on Friday.

"Whether you are from Alabama…my challenge to you is to stay," Windom said. "Please stay and let us build a better Alabama together.

"Alabama needs what your offering ­ educated people full of energy to take the mantle of leadership for our next generation."

Those with energy, he said, are capable of making changes, which are necessary for progress, along with togetherness.

"The path to progress is paved in unity, not division," Windom said.

Illustrating his point, Windom talked about the divide between kindergarten through 12th grade and state colleges and universities.

"How can you have students without teachers? How can you have teachers without the state’s educational system?

"We can’t have division," Windom said. "We can’t move Alabama forward if we try to pit one segment of our state against another. We can’t move Alabama forward if we say that the junior majoring in business at Troy State University is any less important than her younger brother, who is a junior at Enterprise High School or to their aunt who has gone back to school at Enterprise State Community College."

Troy State’s Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. also has some comments for the graduates.

He urged them to do four things ­ be good citizens, speak well of their alma mater, send TSU "good students" and to "let us hear from you" and return to campus for Homecoming festivities in October.

The graduates, representing 20 states and 13 countries, were also asked to join over 70,000 alumni worldwide and continue to support Troy State.

During the ceremony, Nall Hollis, who is professionally known as Nall, was awarded an honorary doctorate. Nall is the visiting artist-in-residence at Troy State.