“Each of you graduates has a special skill,” speaker Dale Hall told the graduates during Southwestern Community College’s commencement 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 13, on the Jackson Campus.
“What you have learned here at SCC is important because it will change the lives of others. You may not believe this now, but at some point in your life, you will be the special person that will have life-changing impact on another,” said Hall, SCC medical laboratory technology/phlebotomy instructor and coordinator.
Hall stressed to the graduates how valuable their degree is by citing figures that show, “In your working life you will earn approximately a half a million dollars more than a high school graduate.” While Hall said he understood tuition, gas, child care and other expenses involved in getting a degree, “the return is high enough to justify the cost.”
College graduates also enjoy an improved quality of life for their children, higher level of savings, increased professional mobility and more hobbies and leisure activities, according to Hall. He shared results from the Carnegie Foundation that found college graduates tend to be “more rational, open-minded, cultured, less authoritarian and in better health.”
But enough about the research and quotes, said Hall, who is also an SCC graduate. “Over 30 years ago I was a student here and went through the same hassles of exam and papers that you have just gone through. There is one thing I will never forget — the look of joy on my mother’s face on graduation night.”
You now possess something that money can’t buy, he told the graduates. “You have achieved a goal that many only dream of. You have become a source of pride for your whole family. And the great part is, it can never be repossessed or stolen from you. It is yours for the rest of your life and I hope that your degree serves you as well as mine has served me.”
The 115 graduates included 62 from Career Technologies, 38 from Arts and Sciences and 20 from Health Sciences (five have double majors).