JEFFERSON CITY — More than 500 Carson-Newman University graduates are ready to make their mark on the world following Spring Commencement ceremonies on Friday, May 4.
During the morning undergraduate ceremony, students heard from Gov. Bill Haslam, who counseled graduates to focus not on their own plans, which can change in unexpected ways, but on how they will live.
“Wherever you’re called, seek the welfare of that place,” Haslam advised. “We are called here, no matter what the role is, to seek the welfare of those around us. So that’s my first piece of advice.”
He then called on the memory of former C-N football coach Ken Sparks, telling students to “hustle” about what they are called to do. Next, he advised they be humble, and in closing he told students to remember God’s faithfulness.
“Remember that the Lord is good and his faithfulness endures for all generations,” Haslam concluded.
Prior to giving counsel to the students, he praised Carson-Newman for producing “some of our very best teachers, wonderful nurses who have served, great military servants and business leaders,” as well as being an institution that has held true to its mission.
“I am grateful to Carson-Newman for the opportunity to address this outstanding group of graduates,” said Haslam, who is concluding his final term as governor. “Many of these graduates were the first in their families to go to college. We thank Carson-Newman for participating in our Tennessee Promise and Tennessee Reconnect programs. Together, we can all reach our Drive to 55 goals in higher education.”
“We are incredibly proud of our graduates and excited to see how their lives help transform the world using the values they learned here at Carson-Newman University: truth, beauty and goodness,” said C-N president J. Randall O’Brien. “These students represent a wide swath of young professionals who are now prepared to shape the future thanks to the quality education provided by our valued professors.”
National Park Foundation Chief of Staff Ruth Prescott addressed the graduate students. Prescott began serving on the University’s board of trustees in 2015.