Congressman Cedric Richmond to SU grads: ‘May you change the world’
Southern University Baton Rouge holds Spring 2016 Commencement Ceremony, May 13
Arnedia K. Wallace of Dubberly, Louisiana was chief student marshal for Southern University Baton Rouge's 2016 Spring Commencement exercises, Friday, May 13, 2016, in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
Southern University Baton Rouge awarded posthumous undergraduate degrees to Lashuntae Benton and Annette January during its spring commencement exercises Friday, May 13, 2016, in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Benton was awarded a degree in therapeutic recreation and leisure studies, and January was awarded a degree in business management. Lashuntae Benton's mother Theresa Washington Tillman (pictured left photo) accepted the commemorative diploma from SU System President Ray L. Belton. Annette January's mother Dawn January (pictured right photo- center) and her sisters Casey (pictured right photo left) and Chantel January (pictured right photo second from left) received the memorial degree from Belton and SU Board of Supervisors member Raymond Fondel.
Baton Rouge native, local businessman, and former state representative Joseph A. Delpit (pictured left photo), and Congressman Richmond (pictured right photo), were each awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degrees from Southern University during spring graduation exercises Friday, May 13, 2016 in the F.G. Clark Activity Center. Assisting with Joseph Delpit's hooding is Lisa Delpit, Felton G. Clark Distinguished Professor, SUBR College of Education, and SU System Board of Supervisors chairman Leon R. Tarver II. Hooding Richmond is SU Board of Supervisors chairman Leon R. Tarver II and SU Board of Supervisors member Ann Smith.
United States Congressman Cedric Richmond delivered the commencement address for Southern University Baton Rouge's spring commencement exercises Friday, May 13, 2016, in the F.G. Clark Activity Center.
Congressman Richmond, who represents Louisiana's 2nd Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, focused on the HBCU mission and strongly encouraged the class of nearly 600 graduates to find their purpose and become leaders today.
"The HBCU story teaches persistence, patience, and determination," said Richmond.
"The HBCU story is about SU. It's everything Southern embodies," said the Congressman.
Reflecting on his mother's experience at SU, the Morehouse grad said she came to Southern from Lake Providence with few resources, and the University prepared her to go into the world and lead.
The speaker shared that when his father, also an SU alumnus, passed away, his mother's lessons from SU taught her to keep going.
Likewise, Richmond said to the soon-to-be SU alums, "SU has prepared you to go out and do great things."
In his address, the New Orleans native focused on five areas for the member of the spring SUBR class to focus on to help define their purpose and to become successful leaders.
"Find your purpose, stay laser-focused on your purpose, don't compromise your morals, don't forget where you came from, and your changing the world starts tomorrow," said Richmond.
A major point from the Congressman in his speech was highlighting the importance of helping others as individuals and as leaders.
"The most important lesson from your parents is to help others," he said. A good measurement of life endeavors he explained is "if it only makes dollars, it doesn't make sense if it doesn't help others."
Many in the capacity crowd applauded the Congressman's plea to the graduation candidates to "never forget where you came from."
"Lots of people made sacrifices to help you get where you are."
In closing remarks Richmond told the grads to "figure out in life what you want to do and how you are going to change the world." "May you change the world."
The SUBR Spring 2016 Class included 443 undergraduate degree candidates (College of Business - 49; College of Education, Arts and Humanities - 80; College of Engineering and Computer Science - 35; College of Nursing and Allied Health - 88; College of Agriculture - 76; College of Social And Behavioral Science - 115) and 144 candidates for graduate degrees. The class has 91 honor graduates (five summa cum laude, two magna cum laude, nine cum laude, 75 honorable mention).
The SUBR Fall Class represents 57 Louisiana parishes, 17 states and territories, and five countries.
The chief student marshal was Arnedia K. Wallace, with a cumulative grade point average of 4.0. The Dubberly, Louisiana native received a bachelor's degree political science. The 22 year old received a University Medal and a Dolores Margaret Richard Spikes Honors College Medallion during commencement, and a special citation on her diploma.
The University awarded posthumous undergraduate degrees to Lashuntae Benton and Annette January. Benton was awarded a degree in therapeutic recreation and leisure studies, and January was awarded a degree in business management. Lashuntae Benton's mother Theresa Washington Tillman accepted her commemorative diploma. Annette January's mother Dawn January and her sisters Casey and Chantel January received her memorial degree.
Baton Rouge native, local businessman, and former state representative Joseph A. Delpit, and Congressman Richmond, were each awarded an honorary doctor of humane letters degree during the annual spring graduation exercises.
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