Congratulations Class of 2012
Armstrong's class of 2012 reveled as they crossed one of life's most rewarding thresholds at spring commencement on Saturday, May 5. About 680 candidates for graduation and their loved ones gathered at the Savannah Civic Center to usher in a new phase and be honored by their university.
After a gracious welcome from Armstrong President Linda Bleicken, Georgia Congressman John Barrow greeted the crowd and promised not to subject the anxious graduates to the long-winded speeches he often endures in the House of Representatives.
Congressman Barrow delivered a lively address wherein he charged the graduates with the task of ensuring a successful, positive future for our country. The means to that end is to focus on service over self as they enter the workforce. “Each of you should use whatever gifts you have received to serve others, and even though you've worked hard for it and even though you paid a lot for it, your degree is a huge gift to you,” advised Barrow. “Let's not talk about what you're going to get out of your degree, let's talk a little about what you're going to give back because of your degree.”
At a time when most Americans, including those just coming out of higher education, are solely concerned about landing a job, Congressman Barrow urged Armstrong graduates to alter that path and find their true calling through work with others.
“Everyone realizes that you're graduating at a time when getting a job is harder than ever before. Fortunately, it's also a great time of opportunity for you,” Barrow said. “There's never been a time when getting involved and serving others has been as accessible as it is today. . . . You're looking for your dream job, but you have time to try out all sorts of things along the way. Volunteer for something you care about; make a habit of surveying other folks. You may find that the things you thought were just hobbies can actually turn into rewarding careers, and you will find that you have the power to make the world a better place.”
“Graduation probably feels like the end of a long journey for you, but I'm here to tell you it's just the beginning. In the next few years, you are going to build on what you've learned here at Armstrong Atlantic State University, and I know whatever you do, it's going to be great,” the Congressman concluded.
As the ceremony wound down and every graduate, from new doctors of physical therapy, to master's and bachelor's candidates, walked across the stage and heard their friends and family cheer them on to the future, Dr. Bleicken bid them farewell with a strong vote of confidence of her own, “Your university salutes you on your success and sends you forward with our collective best wishes.”
Armstrong's new alumni are now embarking on their own journeys but will always carry with them the Pirate spirit.