1. 146th Commencement Celebration – Class of 2012

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    Three powerful messages of encouragement were given to the Class of 2012, as they celebrated the 146th Commencement of Rust College with a flurry of events. Dr. David L. Beckley, along with other members of the Executive Council, hosted the Service of Consecration Saturday evening, April 21. This event serves as the final Rite of Passage for seniors before they receive their undergraduate degrees. “We, who wear the Royal White and Blue were made for the highest, the best, the noblest… to strive for anything less, is to alienate ourselves from our true character,” said Dr. Beckley. “You were made to walk the high road of love, peace, excellence… not the low road of human destruction, ignorance, war, hate, mediocrity, indecency, violence, and intolerance. The worst in us needs no encouragement. You are ready to move into the wider world because you are receiving degrees from Rust College.” Equally powerful words were given during the Senior/Alumni Breakfast held Sunday morning. The College welcomed back alumnus Michael J. Smith, ‘77, who is the Academic Director for Memphis City Schools. “You and I represent 99 percent of the American Democratic society which has endured enough of the system’s big corporations and big banks’ monopoly stranglehold over us and our potential income,” Smith said. “Are you willing to never, ever give up? If you answered affirmatively, then you are armed and geared to survive this hunger game, this jungle.” “Chinese philosopher Confucius said, ‘the journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.’ Take heed to these words of wisdom as you walk out into the real world to confront everyday challenges… and remember never, ever give up.” Smith urged. Keynote speaker for the 146th Commencement Convocation was Bishop Teresa E. Snorton of the 5th District, C.M.E. Church. Bishop Snorton was made the first female bishop of the C.M.E. Church in July 2010. Her message: Welcome to the Future. “A new future waits for you. We pray it will be bright and filled with good things. A future full of surprises; some good, some not so good. There will be mountains and valleys… you must welcome your future,” said Bishop Snorton. “As you think, plan, and dream for the future, remember two things. One, the future is important. No matter how difficult and challenging it may be, you will spend the rest of your life in your own future. Two, never be afraid to trust an unknown future in the hands of a known God. The future helps us to have faith in ourselves and beyond ourselves. Don’t get discouraged. Don’t give up before you even try and don’t be seduced by things that look good, but mean you no good.” Bishop Snorton encouraged the graduates to not only look to the future, but to realize that the NOW is important as well. “Take your now, your present, each day you awaken—take it seriously. Life is not a rehearsal, each day is the real thing, each day is important.” She told students that the things they do now are vital to how their future will turn out.

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