Monday, May 3, 2010

FAMU Graduates Encouraged to Make Their Marks on the World

Florida A&M University (FAMU) graduates were all smiles during the 9 a.m. commencement ceremony held in the Alfred L. Lawson Jr. Multipurpose Center Teaching Gymnasium.

Admiral Mike Mullen, 17th Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff and principal military advisor to President Obama, served as the keynote speaker for the ceremony. Mullen, who visited the university once before, said he was honored to speak at the event.

“I just wanted to be with the best and brightest in our nation’s 2010 graduating class,” Mullen said.

He told the graduates that he believes the lessons he has learned will help navigate their futures.

“What does it mean to serve?,” he asked the class of nearly 600. “The future is you, Rattler Nation. Everyone here is a leader. Those who came before us gave their best, so that we can be our best. Serve well and lead us into the future.”

Philip Hamilton, who received his doctorate from the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, said he was honored to have Mullen as his commencement speaker.

“I was honored and very encouraged by his words,” Hamilton said. “I feel such a sense of accomplishment graduating with my doctorate of pharmacy, but I know the real work is just beginning.”

President James H. Ammons charged their students to make their respective marks on the world.

“Make the most of it,” he said. “Go out and change the world. There is no higher calling than to show compassion to your fellow man. Learn to develop a deep-seated love for Florida A&M University.”

Takila Brooks, a Pensacola native who earned her master’s in health administration, said she knows what she learned from FAMU will last a lifetime.

“It felt like a breath of fresh air,” Brooks said of crossing the stage. "I am honored to have received my master’s degree from the best historically black university in the nation.”

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