Hudson Confers 1,100 Diplomas to A-State Graduates
JONESBORO — Dr. Kenneth L. “Rocky” Clinton, Jr., former associate vice president for global programs at Texas A&M University-Commerce and featured commencement speaker, told approximately 1,100 candidates that “the true joy of life is the trip” during Arkansas State University’s 2014 fall commencement ceremony Saturday morning at the Convocation Center, 217 Olympic Drive.
Chancellor Tim Hudson conferred the degrees to graduates from the Colleges of Agriculture and Technology, Business, Education, Engineering, Fine Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Media and Communication, Nursing and Health Professions, Sciences and Mathematics, and University College.
In his welcome remarks, Dr. Hudson told the graduates and the audience, “Today, we celebrate the achievements of this graduating class. It is an exciting time for the graduates, their families and friends. The destiny of our country, and indeed the world, is in your hands.”
Chandler McGuire of Marked Tree, who received her Bachelor of Science in Interdisciplinary Studies degree and plans to attend graduate school, served as the key speaker on behalf of the graduates. She encouraged her classmates to, “Be bold and never settle. Education comes with possibilities. Embrace life with passion and a sense of adventure.”
Clinton outlined three portions of his remarks to the class to include appreciation of gifts, the concept of excellence, and travel.
“I visited this campus in 1965 and am in awe of what has happened here, both to the campus and the community. The people of Arkansas have built a bridge of opportunities for you to get an education.
“Also, the concept of excellence is as old as mankind. In your life, some of you may have six or seven jobs. If this happens, you must reject rejection or, in the words of that great philosopher Taylor Swift, ‘shake it off’.
And, lastly, Clinton spoke of the ‘trip.’ “Seldom do you take the academic journey in your life without sacrifice. You, your family and others have made sacrifices for you in your pursuit of an education. You should take time to write them a thank you note.”
Teaching for almost three decades as a part of the Institute of Anglo American Studies at the University of London, Clinton retired as a professor of sociology with 41 years of service to TAMU-Commerce, along with his work to foster greater international exchanges of students.
During his academic career, Clinton had more than 60 professional articles or presentations, as well as hundreds of presentations to student groups and civic organizations. The recipient of Texas A&M-Commerce’s distinguished faculty teaching award and professor of the year, he also received the Spirit of Mayo Citation from the office of the president at TAMU-C.
He has worked with the United States Public Health Service for the Department of Education and been a consultant for the Texas cities of Dallas and Sulphur Springs.
Following the graduation ceremony, graduates and their families were treated with a reception along with A-State’s administration and faculty.