The day seemed so surreal as I marched into the Time Warner Arena behind hundreds of Masters Degree candidates to the area where people stood in front of our section holding oversized flags on poles that clearly identified who we were. Even as I glanced over at the neighboring section of students where oversized flags indicated that they were the Bachelors Degree candidates, I was reminded of the journey I took, when I sat in the same section as I graduated from the University of South Carolina 30 years ago. Thirty years ago? Yep, exactly 30 years and 3 months ago! Even in the excitement of cheering family members and friends who packed the designated visitors section of the arena and over 800 degree candidates, I am swept away by the sounds of the bag-pipes as the ceremony began.

Now, sitting here the day after Commencement Exercises, I believe it is finally setting in that I sat in an audience of my peers, listening to inspiring speeches, and then walking down the aisle to march on stage and shake the hands of college officials, congratulating me on another one of my monumental achievements. Just hearing the bittersweet sounds of “Pomp and Circumstance” indicates that we shall stand tall, collapse in the arms of our accomplishments and grasp our mandate to serve our purpose as God intends. Now that I am an official Masters of Business Administration Degree recipient, I am elated and grateful to God for getting me through some difficult and frustrating days of climbing this academic mountain. One of my nieces asked me, “so what are you going to do next?” I said, “I’m not sure exactly what it is, but it will entail climbing a bigger mountain as I keep dancing and celebrating life!” And as Forrest Gump says: “That’s all I have to say about that!” But stay tuned! I just may surprise myself! I am not ruling out a doctorate degree at this point!

I encourage you to dream bigger dreams, turn your visions into reality, extend your hands to help someone along the way and encourage them to go to the mountaintop and experience excellence and greatness. Be all that you can be and remember…time waits for no one!


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