Troy University commencement celebrates military (PHOTO GALLERY)

Published 11:53 pm Friday, May 9, 2014



Troy University celebrated its military ties during Friday’s commencement ceremony.

“We have 62 Troy University Alumni who are generals or flag-ranked officers in the military,” said Chancellor Jack Hawkins Jr. to a graduating class of more than 700 people.

The school also boasts 123 alumni who have retired as flag-ranked officers. One of those officers returned to Troy to deliver the commencement address at Troy Arena.

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Retired General Victor E. Renuart, Jr., former commander of NORAD and the United States Northern Command, earned a master’s degree in psychology from Troy.

“You’re thinking, ‘holy cow, we’re done.’ But commencement is really a beginning,” he told the graduates.

Renuart said he was an optimist. The country is grappling with recovery and a sluggish unemployment rate, but he believed Troy University graduates would forge their own way. Many of those he had met before graduation spoke of moving to larger towns in search of employment.

“There’s a sense of adventure, a sense of enthusiasm, a sense of a little bit of trepidation,” he said. “We worry about change, but we shouldn’t fear change. We should embrace it.

“I’m excited for those 19 young men and women wearing a uniform,” he added. “It’ll be a great honor for me to serve over your commission.”

Renuart challenged graduates to be a leader, to keep a journal of each week’s positive and negative examples of leadership they witness. He advised Trojans to throw themselves into problems and realize that the best ideas will most likely come from those around them.

In order to advance in their careers Renaurt told graduates to make the most of every position they hold.

“The most important job you have will be the one you have that day,” he said. “Pay attention to every detail. Don’t walk past a problem. Don’t put off tough decisions and don’t fear risk.”

Friday’s ceremony closed with the awarding of an honorary doctorate degree to Hou Baozhu, an international sculptor from Xian, China. Many of his works are prominently displayed on Troy’s Alabama campuses.