Congratulations Fall Graduates!

(Dec. 11, 2012) Nearly 650 students walked across the stage in cap and gown on a brilliant late-fall day at Armstrong's Fall 2012 graduation ceremonies on Saturday, Dec. 8. Graduates received associate, baccalaureate and master's degrees from the Colleges of Education, Health Professions, Liberal Arts, and Science and Technology. 46 members of the Fall 2012 graduating class are members of the military. All gathered in two ceremonies keynoted by University System of Georgia Regent and former Savannah resident Willis J. Potts Jr.

President Linda Bleicken welcomed the crowd with personal congratulations of her own. “In most cases, you are not alone in your efforts to achieve this milestone in your life,” she added. “There are many who have supported you and made it possible for you to earn your degrees.”

Potts extended his congratulations as well upon taking the lectern and delivered a motivating message of personal responsibility and leadership.

“I am very privileged to be a part of this very significant occasion,” he said. “I continue to be impressed with what this institution has done, how much it has grown, and how much it has matured. Wow.”

Potts' own personal experiences were woven throughout his speech and encouraged the graduates to make a positive impact on the world.

“When it's all boiled down to its essence, we are the products of the books we read, the people we meet, and the places we go,” reflected Potts. “Graduates, this institution has equipped you extremely well in all three categories. You are the better for it, and this entire world will be better for it. For you see, our society needs the inspirations, the skills, and the innovation that you who are graduating today will take with you as you leave this institution. I thank you in advance for the positive changes that I know you will make for the greater good for all of us. “

Overall, Potts' message stressed the importance of taking personal responsibility and leading with that responsibility.

“With today's commencement celebration, indeed comes responsibility,” he said. “But you already know that. Responsibility, young men and young women, is an awesome word. It's a thread across all of your education. It's a thread that will continue for the rest of your life.

“You see, I believe that it is human networks and not computer networks that make things happen. . . . I believe that your accomplishment which we celebrate today brings with it another responsibility, one that is manifested in relationships with other people and is demonstrated through leadership.”

Potts concluded with an inspiring charge to the graduates, as they begin to make their way in the world.

“You've distinguished yourself. Now let your light illuminate the lives of other people.”

See photos from the 2012 Fall Graduation here.