• 66°

Valedictorian: Class is blessed

Friends and family of 27 Pike Liberal Arts seniors gathered Thursday night for the 33rd commencement exercises at Delaney Kervin Stadium on Dewight Ward Field.

The evening was a little more emotional for some than it was for others, but the 2003 graduates, dressed in classic royal blue gowns, made their excitement clear with the smiles on their faces.

After the "Star-Spangled Banner," Salutatorian Christy Sellers opened the ceremony with a speech of gratitude and thanksgiving for the parents and teachers who helped her and her class on their way.

"You have done so much to prepare us for the next stage in our lives," she said.

She went on to say that she and her classmates were blessed with great opportunities.

"We have had the best opportunities we could have had being students at Pike Liberal Arts," Sellers said.

She urged her peers to use their blessings to help them achieve their goals in the future.

In closing, she reminded her classmates of the scripture Genesis 28:15, "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go."

The special guest speaker for the evening was Dr. Stephen C. Garrott, a professor at Troy State University and Huntingdon College and the father of two PLAS graduates.

"There is no way of telling what one can accomplish," he told the graduates.

In order to succeed in life, he said they must set their goals high, "dream, imagine and hope."

He also advised them to learn everything they can and "be the first one there and the last one to leave."

But, he cautioned, they must not become selfish in their success.

"Be a part of your community," he said.

"You must not simply take, but you must give back as well…Don't forget those who brought you to the dance."

Valedictorian Chase Long also told his classmates to set high goals and not be afraid of success.

"We all have unlimited potential to reach our dreams and touch the stars," he said.

Long told his peers that the world is only "as big as we make it" and that each person possesses the talent to mold and shape it.

Like Sellers, Long expresses his appreciation to many.

to parents, friends and teachers.