Graduation ‘lives up to the hype’ for Troy students

Published 8:31 am Saturday, December 17, 2011

Summer McDonald smiled as she posed for photo after photo with her family and friends Friday in front of Sartain Hall.

McDonald was one of about 450 students who graduated with an associates, bachelors or masters degree this semester.

“I’m just so excited,” said McDonald, who obtained her bachelors degree in criminal justice. “I am glad it is over. It was a very long journey.”

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But the work isn’t quite finished for the Troy graduate from Vallejo, Cali. She plans to attend grad school in hopes of one day becoming an attorney.

“Today is about my friends and family though, and all their support. So today, we are going to celebrate.”

Cale Dennis graduated with a degree in accounting. The Auburn native said he would be pursuing his masters degree in Troy.

“[Graduation] lived up to the hype,” Dennis said. “This is something I’ve worked a long time for, and it’s exciting to be done and get to start a new chapter.”

For Kenneth Griffin, the day was an emotional one as he watched his only son walk across the stage and shake hands with Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., chancellor.

“I am very, very proud,” Griffin said. “I almost had tears in my eyes. He put a lot of hard work into this and he stayed focused.”

Chadwick Griffin, from Samson, ultimately wants be a physical education teacher or strength-conditioning coach. His degree is in social science and he’ll be seeking a graduate degree.

“There is no feeling like it,” the junior Griffin said about graduating. “They say the next best thing is getting married.”

Griffin said he enjoyed his experience at Troy.

“It was challenging in a good way,” Griffin said. “It makes you grow up. It brings the man out of you.”