Huntsville, Ala. ---- The President and CEO of the Thurgood Marshall College Fund addressed two spring commencement sessions at Alabama A&M University May 5.
Johnny C. Taylor, Jr., urged the graduates to remember those who helped them during their matriculation through college, because their (the graduates') ultimate success marks the return on investment of all their supporters. While much celebration of that success and of beating the odds is appropriate, the CEO stated that men and women of tomorrow will have be more than conquerors.
"In what meaningful way will we know that you were here?" he asked. Taylor went on to, one, challenge the AAMU grads to take the time for deep introspection in order to determine what motivates them. Two, he dared them to develop a viable plan and then to, three, "just do it."
Everyone has a sad story, he said, and no one wants to hear excuses. Instead, he said, people are much more interested in knowing "how you will make a difference."
Taylor likened racism to gravity. Its very essence is to hold one down, but one has to defy it in order to fly, he said. "The world needs you to be successful."
Nearly 500 graduates received baccalaureate, master's, educational specialist and Ph.D. degrees in the T.M. Elmore Building.
- Jerome Saintjones
CAPTION: TMCF President/CEO Johnny C. Taylor addresses AAMU graduates May 5 at the T.M. Elmore Building.