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ASU awards more than 400 degrees

Mass Communication major Cherelle Lynette Perry expresses her excitement as she holds 
up her diploma to show family and friends in the audience during Albany State University’s commencement exercises at the Albany Civic Center Saturday.

Mass Communication major Cherelle Lynette Perry expresses her excitement as she holds up her diploma to show family and friends in the audience during Albany State University’s commencement exercises at the Albany Civic Center Saturday.

ALBANY, Ga. — Albany State University President Everette Freeman, casting his eyes toward the crowd at a packed spring commencement exercise Saturday at the Albany Civic Center, welcomed the gathering saying, “Today is another beautiful unfolding story for our Golden Rams family.”

photo

Joe Bellacomo

Lezil Baskerville, president and CEO of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, delivers Albany State University’s spring commencement address.

Noting the rain falling outside the arena, Freeman added, “Rain is necessary for growth, and our new graduates must blossom when the moment arises.”

Nearly 350 newly-minted graduates picked up degrees Saturday along with 65 other students who earned specialist degrees.

Lezli Baskerville, the fifth — and first female — president and chief executive officer of the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, was the event’s keynote speaker.

NAEOHE is the only national membership, advocacy and capacity-building association for the nation’s 103 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and 92 Predominantly Black Institutions.

“Have faith in yourselves as I have faith in you,” Baskerville said to the new graduates. “Faith is one of two things. As you step out into the world, you will find something on which to stand or you will learn how to fly.

“Be still and listen to the silence within and keep following your inner path while keeping your freedom to be who you truly are. Your future is bright because that is what you will make of it.”

Baskerville advised the grads not to stand still.

“Your responsibility, your task, is to use your newly-minted skills to find your path,” she said. “Shake things up.”

She suggested that the graduates use President Barack Obama as their inspiration.

“Did you ever think we’d see a president with the same skin and hair texture as ours?” Baskerville asked. “But you have to remember the progress made between (Abraham) Lincoln and President Obama did not happen all at once. It came in fits and starts, and the work is not over. You must use your talents to take us to the next level of freedom.

“Use your community-based culture with a healthy dose of self-respect. Use your talent to move people in Southwest Georgia to a higher ground.”

Baskerville advised the new graduates to take advantage of the technology at their disposal.

“Use technology and social media to help set people free,” she said. “Close the gaps in education and incomes to open the gates to those who have been left behind.

“This is your task, this is your charge.”

Baskerville is a lawyer, government relations and equity professional and a recognized expert on equal educational and employment opportunity, education excellence and access, pipeline issues, education funding, best practices in minority student persistence, affirmative action and diversity issues.

Prior to heading NAFEO, she served as vice president for government relations for The College Board and was responsible for shaping and advancing the organization’s legislative agenda.

Comments

Sister_Ruby_Two 1 year, 7 months ago

Baskerville had a race-based message for the African Americans in the audience. She must have forgotten that there were graduates of other races receiving degrees. Her message was insulting and backward looking without recognizing that Blacks have arrived at a parity (at least) with any race, and at an advantage (more likely) due to preferential treatment in all areas of entitlements including college grants and loans in today's USA.

A far superior choice for commencement speaker would have been Dr. Benjamin Carson but who wants to hear that the playing field is now level and you are on your own to make of life what you will based on your own effort, hard work, and accomplishment? Does HBCU mean "Harken Back Colored Underprivileged"? Or can it achieve the challenge of "Human Beings Cooperating Unilaterally"?

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 7 months ago

Now it's time to find a job. Good luck, graduates. I hope you were paying attention in class and not relying on a piece of paper to get you a job.

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chinaberry25 1 year, 7 months ago

Or not burdened down with student loans for all those perks you just had to have. A $50000 loan for a elementary teacher who takes home about $1800 will not leave you much to live off of. You should have had to take a course in finances. And those loans will follow you to your graves.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 7 months ago

I think every student in high school and college should be required to take a finance/financial planning course and a course to find/apply for/succeed in a job. A lot of these new college grads are clueless in interviews.

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Sherwood_Eagle_Alum 1 year, 7 months ago

You do realize my comments had nothing to do with ASU being a HBCU.

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Sister_Ruby_Two 1 year, 7 months ago

"....speaker message was not a race-base message". That's ALL it was. Nothing more, nothing less. The caucasians in the audience must have felt very left out. Speaker had nothing to say to them. ALL ABOUT THE HBCU AND ABOUT HOW THE GOVERNMENT NEEDS TO GIVE MORE MONEY AWAY TO THE POOR AND MISFORTUNATE. NO MENTION OF THE TRUE CAUSE OF POVERTY WHICH IS NO FATHER IN THE HOME.

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MRKIA 1 year, 7 months ago

SEEMS YOU'VE LEARNED NOTHING IN RETIREMENT. SAME OLD KNUCKLEHEADED STATEMENTS.

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RedEric 1 year, 7 months ago

President Lincoln was a great Republican President. He was assasinated by a racist Democrat. I just wish he had been allowed to live long enough to carry out his full agenda. Everyone would have been happier.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 7 months ago

The most beautiful women graduate from ASU.......

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VSU 1 year, 7 months ago

Yeah, we know you like those watermelon boobs and butts so wide they can't walk through the door.

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Conf3d3rat343var 1 year, 7 months ago

First of all congrats to the degree holders!, I know the trial and tribulations endured,and secondly I do agree that Baskerville gave a racially slanted commencement address. It seems that Barack Obama`s mulatto heritage is always forgotten during all things black. I find the dismissal of his 50% white racial make-up insulting. The organization NAEOHE ,the National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education,is racially prejudiced for their support of just black people.The name should be changed to NAEOBHE, for accuracy. In closing, hopefully, the majority of graduates possess more than a paper degree. I have worked with someone that was a graduate of ATC in air-conditioning that did not know the basics, but held a "degree", a paper degree that was not worth the ink used to write it. :]

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MRKIA 1 year, 7 months ago

HOW MANY OF THESE DEGREES ARE IN P.E. OR BIDNISS MANAGEMENT?

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Sister_Ruby_Two 1 year, 7 months ago

.........about 20% each. But the biggest crowd racket came when they introduced the Education majors! You'da thought the Prezz Hisself had walked into tha building.

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bubbasmithredneck 1 year, 7 months ago

typical racist statement by VSU .......

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OUTsiderLookingINalbany 1 year, 7 months ago

I am willing to wager that you didn't see the slightest bit of racism in Baskerville's speech. Racism is a one way street only, right?

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VSU 1 year, 7 months ago

There was nothing racial about my remark, just stating that you love fat ugly women.

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OUTsiderLookingINalbany 1 year, 7 months ago

Congrates to the graduates. On the other hand, prepare to enter the workforce. Your "BLACK" president has created such a wonderful job market..... GOODLUCK! Hopefully these grads have a degree in something useful, say engineering or advanced science...... doubtful.

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agirl_25 1 year, 7 months ago

I wish this program had a thumbs down symbol too. I wonder who would get the most thumbs down if it did.

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FryarTuk 1 year, 7 months ago

The time is nigh to have a serious discussion about tax payer supported Historically Black Colleges and Universities. I see absolutely no value in them. In fact I believe strongly they damage the credibility of academic degrees and do a disservice to their students educationally.

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Sister_Ruby_Two 1 year, 7 months ago

Although I'm fully supportive of the practice and have no problem with prayer anywhere at any time, how can a public university have an opening prayer and a closing prayer (including "in Jesus's Name") as part of the official program at the convocation?

I don't think UGA has that. An optional Baccalaureate maybe, but not during the convocation.

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