Under clear blue skies, 207 students graduated from Saint Augustine’s University on May 16 in a ceremony held on the campus green. As family members and friends looked on, the graduates listened to speeches by President Everett B. Ward, 2015 Class President Jill Ricks, Congressman David Price and Congressman Bobby Scott.
Ward got a big round of applause when he mentioned that he was especially proud to be speaking to the students as the university’s 11th president. Ward exhorted the students to be courageous and proud of their alma mater but to most of all have integrity. “Always remember there is no substitute for doing the right thing,” he said.
Scott commended the students for their hard work and perseverance.
“Your presence here today shows that you can follow through on your commitments that you have made to yourselves and others,” Scott said. “It shows that you’re dedicated to giving yourself new opportunities and maximizing your potential, as well as maximizing the contributions that you can give back to your community. Never doubt that you did the right thing by staying in school, working hard, making tough choices and earning your degree.”
Students whooped, hollered, smiled, danced, waved, and high-stepped as they crossed the stage to receive their degree holder from Provost Yvonne Coston and to shake hands with Ward. (The actual degrees were conferred later in ceremonies within individual schools.)
The ceremony was punctuated by musical selections from the University Choir and band. The band played the traditional “Pomp and Circumstance” as students, staff and faculty filed out at the end.