The “storms of life” certainly made their presence known during the first spring Commencement Ceremony hosted by Snead State Community College. After heavy winds and rain disrupted the ceremony scheduled earlier in May, the College held a second ceremony on Sunday, May 23, to give graduates another opportunity to cross the stage and receive their diplomas.
“I believe our event today is a great example that represents the expectations of life once you leave this place,” said Snead State President Dr. Joe Whitmore during his welcoming remarks to the graduates. “There are always going to be storms that disrupt what we plan so hard to do. Unfortunately, these storms of life are unavoidable, and we must persevere to endure these times so that we may continue to learn and grow and excel.”
Dr. Whitmore told the 66 graduates participating in Sunday’s ceremony that they were examples of perseverance and resilience in making the best of a storm.
“I know I have personally learned from this, our college has learned from this, and my desire is for you to remember this as an example of rising up and overcoming the things that may be stormy for you in the future,” he said. “Storms are going to come, and they will disrupt the very best laid plans you may have. Some storms are financial, some are emotional, some involve family issues, and some may be health related. Some of these storms can be predicted, but most cannot. So, it is not the presence of these storms that define us. It is how we respond to them.”
While the first ceremony took place at the Sand Mountain Park and Amphitheater in Albertville, the second ceremony was held in the Bevill Center on the Boaz campus. During Sunday’s event, the College presented 40 Associate in Science degrees, 20 Associate in Applied Science degrees and six Short-Term Certificates.
A majority of the graduates completed their degree requirements during the 2021 spring semester, but others are graduates from the 2019 fall, 2020 spring, 2020 summer and 2020 fall semesters. Students set to graduate during the summer 2021 semester also participated though they won’t complete their requirements until the end of the summer semester.
As Dr. Whitmore closed his remarks to the graduates, he left them with a final verse of encouragement he quoted from 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed.”