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Samford celebrates fall commencement with 230 graduatescomment (0)

January 1, 2004

For Samford University’s 230 fall graduates, commencement exercises on Dec. 13 marked an end that is really a beginning, said graduation speaker Paul R. Corts.

Corts, assistant attorney general for administration of the United States, gave the graduates six principles to consider as they take their new degrees beyond the Samford campus.

Former president of Palm Beach Atlantic University and Wingate University, Corts assumed his post with the Justice Department in 2002. He is a brother of Samford President Thomas E. Corts.

Fix your course, and follow it carefully and faithfully, he advised. “It makes no sense to live our lives with no strategic plan, with no end in mind, with no road map planned out to guide us,” he said. “Our beginnings need to have the end in view.”

Secondly, love life. “Have respect for all people ... and understand that every person has worth,” he said.

“There are people who walk on people, people who walk over people and people who walk with people,” he said, encouraging the graduates to walk “hand in hand” with others, valuing human life and treating all with respect.

Also, he said, pay attention to character development. “You will encounter circumstances and situations that will throw you off course,” said Corts, noting that in his job this past year he has seen as never before how much evil is in the world. 

Be people of good character

“Our world is starving for people of character,” he said, urging graduates to do what is right even when it is hard to do and even when no one is watching.

Choose friends and associates carefully, he cautioned. “Surround yourself with quality people and they’ll raise the bar for you.”

Corts also stressed a commitment to serve. “The teachings of Jesus Christ, the foremost servant Leader, are replete with admonitions to serve, serve, serve. Commit a portion of your time and talents to serving others and you will be richly blessed,” he said.

Lastly, consider leaving a legacy. “Set your aspirations high so that when the bell tolls for you, you can go with joy and a sense of satisfaction that you have done your best, you have made a mark for good, and people will be better because of the way you lived your life,” he said.

Commencement Day activity also included hooding of school of business administration degree candidates and commissioning of Air Force ROTC graduates.

The following students received degrees from Samford’s Beeson Divinity School.

Master of Divinity — Amy Joanna Armstrong, Pine Mountain; Grace Adams Cook, Birmingham; Christopher David DeArman, Birmingham; Shelley McCarthy Farmer, Tupelo, Miss.; Ryan Clark Hankins, Homewood; Lewis Davis Harris Jr., Harrisburg, Liberia; John Martin Key, Birmingham; Timothy Alan Marsh, Birmingham; Melody Carole Maxwell, Collierville, Tenn.; Timothy Brian Mayhall, Birmingham; Linda Hoover Moon, Birmingham; Reinaldo Ramos Jr., Birmingham; Andrea Darby Rhodes, Homewood; and Eugene Hunter Stockstill, Jackson, Miss.

Master of Theological Studies — Derek Sean Jones, Montevallo; Joyce Perpetuah Wanjiru Mwangi, Birmingham; and Hollie Diane Wohlwend, Knoxville, Tenn.

Doctor of Ministry — Belvie Herbert Brice, Pell City; Scott Curry Fowler, Montevallo; and Gary E. Lewis, McDonough, Ga. (SU)

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