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Graduation was Gordon’s largest ever

United States Senator Saxby Chambliss addressed Gordon State College graduates Friday morning advising them to ’embrace their humility.’ ’Why? Because you’re going to need it,’ he said. ‘Because somewhere along the line you are going to fail and you’re going to fail spectacularly.’ Chambliss noted three successful ‘failures.’ ’Oprah Winfrey was fired as a reporter early in her career for being ‘˜unfit for TV.’ Despite finishing third in her law school class, former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor couldn’t even land an interview with nearly 40 law firms, and was offered a job as a secretary. And Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper job because he ‘˜lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” ’Every successful person has stumbled somewhere along the way. And most successful people have understood that only by embracing humility will they figure out a path to improvement.’ At 600 graduates, this was the largest graduating class in the school’s history. This was also the first year that students were awarded four year degrees in English and history. Gordon State offers eight four-year degrees and 40 other programs of study that can lead to an associate degree. Immediately after the main ceremony, graduates who earned an Associate of Science in Nursing participated in a pinning ceremony. Nursing faculty member Mary Williams was selected by the class to give a special address. Williams spoke on the theme of yesterday, today and tomorrow. ’Yesterday I watched a nurse to learn, today I practiced what I watched, and tomorrow I will teach what I have learned to give back and help other aspiring nurses grow,” she told the nurse-candidates. ‘It is my hope that you each find the fulfillment that I and my colleagues have found in this rewarding career. Please stay grounded, and focused as you begin your new career.’ At the same time across campus, graduates who earned a four-year degree in early childhood education participated in a ‘Bell and Book’ ceremony. During the ceremony the freshly minted teachers were given a bell and book which, since the 19th Century, has been a tradition to help new teachers prepare for their career in the classroom. Gordon State College President Max Burns addressed the group, their family and friends. ’As teachers, you have been given an enormous responsibility to make a difference in someone’s life,’ he said. ECE grad Dara Story said, ‘I am proud of the person I’ve become and grateful for the professors who helped me get here.’

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