New beginning

Published 11:00 pm Friday, July 27, 2012

A graduate celebrates after after the Troy University summer commencement at Sartain Hall in Troy, Ala., Friday, July 27, 2012. (Messenger Staff Photo/Thomas Graning)

Families gather for the last Troy commencement in Sartain Hall

By Tyler Spivey

Commencement means to begin, not to end.

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Those were the words of Troy University Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins Jr., during Friday morning’s graduation ceremony.

A jam-packed audience gathered to witness the event in what would be the final graduation in Sartain Hall, according to Hawkins.


He congratulated the grads on their accomplishments.

“We’re so proud of all of our graduates,” he said.

Hawkins also urged students to take advantage of opportunities in their future careers.

The keynote speaker for commencement was Speaker of the Alabama House, Mike Hubbard.

“Graduates, today is your day,” Hubbard said, addressing the new alumni.

During his speech, Hubbard talked to the graduating class about how the current job market is “tough.”

“Life is more expensive than it used to be.” Hubbard said.

He had three tips to give the graduates for a successful career.

The first was to be willing to change plans. Hubbard gave this advice because he said that he never thought he would be involved in politics when he graduated.

His next tip was to “outhustle” the competition.

“Be the first to the office and the last leave,” he said.

And his final tip was for the grads to have good “teammates” in their career and personal life.

“Your life is entirely up to you.” Hubbard explained while summarizing his speech.

Josh Blair, who graduated with a degree in sports and fitness management, described the event as an “unbelievable experience.”

Blair mentioned that he was starting graduate school next month.

Blair’s mother, Teresa, said the day was special for the whole family.

“It’s great to see him graduate,” she said. “He’s worked really hard.”

Graduate Jason Overstreet a business management major, said he and his wife graduated in the same day.

“I feel very accomplished, he said. “I’m very excited that it’s over.”