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2009 Troy class largest class ever

More than 600 graduates walked across the stage at Sartain Hall Friday becoming Troy’s largest graduating class.

Graduates represented 32 states and 13 nations outside the United States.

Air Force Lt. Gen. Allen G. Peck, commander of Air University at Maxwell Air Force Base, charged the graduates, to prepare to assume leadership roles in law, medicine, business, education and public service as they enter the next phase of their lives.

Peck congratulated graduates saying they were a rare breed of achievers.

“Only two-thirds of those who enter eighth grade will graduate from high school,” Peck said. “Two-thirds of them will go on to college, and only half of those will graduate.”

Peck challenged graduates to be role models, and encouraged them to exhibit nine characteristics including, integrity, honor, service, duty, respect for others, commitment, and courage, which he referred to as “the footstool of the other virtues.”

“Not so much physical courage but moral courage, the courage to do the right thing is even more important,” Peck said.

Overall, graduates expressed excitement about graduation, but said it was bittersweet to be leaving Troy.

“I’m really excited because I worked so hard to get here,” said Brittany Holley, who received her degree in cellular and molecular biology. “It’s sad because I’m having to leave Troy.”

Holley, who is from Kinston, will begin medical school this fall.

The same rang true for Helena native Clint Cochran, who also received a degree in cellular and molecular biology.

“It’s very exciting, but bittersweet, too,” Cochran said. “I’ve been in Troy for four years. I’m going to miss it, but I’m ready to face this new chapter.”

Cochran said he is planning on going to some kind of graduate school either physical therapy or medical school. He will take the MCAT during the summer.