Chadron State College’s master’s degree graduates were told to be mindful of the importance of relationships, as they gathered with family and friends for the graduate commencement ceremony Saturday, May 5, at Memorial Hall.
Dr. James Wright, CSC professor of business, illustrated his point by downplaying his role as Saturday’s commencement speaker. From the three graduation ceremonies in which he received degrees of higher education -- bachelor’s, specialist’s and doctorate -- he listed all of his family who were in attendance, but said he is unable to recall much from the ceremonies’ commencement addresses.
“I have no idea what the commencement speaker said. But, I do remember my family attending,” Wright said, introducing the theme of his address.
“The main thing I hope you remember is how extremely vital relationships are in our lives. Our relationships define who we are and who we will become.”
Wright told the graduates that relationships depend on how people treat one another, based on trust and personal integrity.
“We can control how we treat ourselves and others,” he said. “We are the masters of that aspect of our lives.”
Wright also encouraged the master’s degree graduates to make the most of whatever jobs they encounter, regardless of whether or not they enjoy them.
“Not all employment that I have held have I loved or enjoyed. Some I hated,” he said. “How much better off, however, I would have been if my attitude was different. Had I found the positives in the position and better developed my relationships at working placing my time and efforts in developing those areias I might have fared better.”
In closing, Wright recited William E. Henley’s poem, “Invictus,” and the words from Ecclesiastes popularized by The Byrds’ hit, “Turn, Turn, Turn.”
“Graduates, for you, this is your time to laugh, your time to dance,” he said. “It is also your time to be happy about accomplishing this worthy goal, and indeed, your time to show appreciation to those who helped you make this day possible. And, finally, your time to reflect upon how you can use this accomplishment to make a better world through your development of self and your relationships with others.”
Wright has a long history with CSC, serving periods as both a faculty member and an administrator since coming to the institution in 1983. He now teaches courses in business and economic statistics, quantitative methods, production and operation management and professional ethics.
CSC conferred 74 master’s degrees Saturday, the most in the institution’s history. In addition to Wright's address, graduates Leslie Caswell of Crescent City, Calif., and Kevin Haberman of Mitchell delivered the ceremony's "moments of refllection."
—Justin Haag, CSC Information Services
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