Paine grads hear message of future

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Paine College graduated 98 students at its 130th commencement ceremony today. President of Georgia Health Science University Ricardo Azziz, the graduation’s keynote speaker, said it’s an opportunity for young people to inspire others and chase dreams no matter how large.

Born in Uraguay, Azziz decided at 14 years old to go into the medical field, and made his life about accomplishing those goals. He encouraged the graduates to have the same determination.

“Our ability to learn is what makes us who we are, what gives us our value as humans,” he said.

Paine 2012 valedictorian William Harrison Lariscy III he and his classmates will bring values learned in college with them in whatever they do in life.

With his entire future ahead of him, graduation day kept making Don Matthews think about his past.

He had his whole family beside him. They posed for pictures in the drizzling rain outside William Bell Auditorium, Matthews decked in Paine College’s purple sash.

The togetherness made him think about when things were different, when he fled New Orleans, La., for Augusta after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his home and school.

He had to leave New Orleans behind and start new in Augusta, but it turned out to be doorway for opportunity.

“It’s a milestone for me,” said Matthews, who graduated with a mass communications degree and hopes to write and draw cartoons for Disney.

“It’s a steeping stone, and I got my nieces and nephews here and they can see that it can be done.”

Paine College graduated 98 students at its 130th commencement ceremony Sunday. President of Georgia Health Science University Ricardo Azziz, the graduation’s keynote speaker, said it’s an opportunity for young people to inspire others and chase dreams no matter how large.

Born in Uraguay, Azziz decided at 14 years old to go into the medical field, and made his life about accomplishing those goals. He encouraged the graduates to have the same determination.

“Our ability to learn is what makes us who we are, what gives us our value as humans,” he said.

Paine 2012 valedictorian William Harrison Lariscy III he and his classmates will bring values learned in college with them in whatever they do in life.

They will be Lions wherever they go.

“We have an obligation to carry on the Paine College tradition,” Lariscy said. “We must love truth and seek it above material things,” he said, citing the college’s Ideal statement.  

Paine President George Bradley encouraged the graduates to not stop in pursuing an education. He said he Paine graduates should go on to become Nobel Peace Prize winners, presidents and educators.

“My charge to you is clear and simple,” he said. “Take the Paine College mission…with you as part of your work, leisure and spiritual life and you will move forward.”

It’s a hope Kenneth Talley had as he watched his daughter, Tiffany, receive a diploma Sunday.

He hoped all her hard work would turn into much more.

“It’s been wonderful to watch her,” Talley said. “She’s my oldest daughter, the first in my family to receive a degree. I’m a proud man today.” 

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Sweet son
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Sweet son 05/13/12 - 03:09 pm
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Administrator Misappropriations

Congratulations to all of the Paine graduates and I wish them all the successes that I wished for my own daughter.

I hope the administrators had problems looking the graduates in the eye because of their misuse of Federal funds earmarked for students. Paine is an old institution that has served black students for decades but if the current administrators can't even balance the checkbook then some authority should remove them. We all knew something was wrong when longtime Coach Ron Spry was forced out. Change now, Paine!

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