More than 400 students picked up degrees, diplomas, certificates or GEDS Friday evening as Albany Technical College held its 2013 spring commencement exercise at the Albany Civic Center. (June 7, 2013)
ALBANY, Ga. -- More than 60 students received their associate's degrees, nearly 200 received diplomas, more than 40 technical certificates of credit and more than 100 students received their GEDs as Albany Technical College held its spring commencement exercises Friday at the Albany Civic Center.
The speaker for the evening ceremony was Lt. Commander K. Moore, commanding officer of the U.S. Coast Guard Station Atlantic City and Coast Guard Station Small Great Egg. Moore enlisted in the Coast Guard in 1995. A 2003 graduate of the Coast Guard's Officers Candidate School, he has served more than 18 years in an array of operational and administrative units.
"I think most of you know I have a special place in my heart for the Coast Guard," ATC President Anthony Parker said before introducing his daughter, Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Andrea Parker, who brought Moore to the podium.
"I am not famous, not wealthy nor do I have a monopoly on wisdom," Moore said. "But I do know that we have a great deal in common. This (ATC) is a great institution of higher education that really cares about its students.
"This college is truly committed to the well-being of each and every one of its students, and you are blessed because of it."
Moore grew up on the hard-scrabble streets of Harlem, N.Y., which helped push him toward the Coast Guard.
"I refused to to become a casualty of my environment like many of my friends did," Moore recalled. "After a cousin of mine was shot and I saw his body on the curb, I realized that could easily have been me."
In the summer of 1995, Moore joined the Coast Guard.
"I saw it as me trying to do something that mattered, to make a difference in something I life that had nothing to do with wealth," Moore said. "I couldn't even swim."
Moore spent six weeks in remedial swimming before finally graduating. Eight years later, he graduated from the Coast Guard's Officer's Candidate School.
"The message I want to send out tonight is not to ever give up and understand life presents opportunities. Just don't be afraid to take up the challenge," Moore said. "It's like Chris Matthews on 'Hard Ball' says, 'Don't get mad, don't get even, get ahead.'
"Complaining never did anybody any good."