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NEW GRADS: Troy University holds commencement ceremony

More than 700 students experienced the honor of being awarded their diplomas Friday morning. “It is a real honor,” Chancellor Jack Hawkins said, “All of you are special.”

This year’s guest speaker: Italian senator Massimo Mallegni, former mayor of Montgomery’s sister city Pietrasanta, Italy, urged students to understand how important the day is and to cultivate relationships with the university.

“First of all thank you,” Mallegni said. “This day is one of the most important days of one’s life. It is the beginning of a journey…I wish you all great success.”

Mallegni helped with forming the relationship with the study abroad trip to Pietrasanta.

“We have already established an important relationship with our university in Pisa,” Mallegni said. “But this is only the beginning of serious relationships that will happen in Italy. This is my dream, to have a department of your University in our town. Where to teach culture, dance and everything that is culture.”

Both Hawkins and Mallegni encouraged the graduates to be a leader in this world and to be active in the world.

“We never have to stop in building up a new rolling class in our world,” Mallegni said.