Louisiana Tech”s newest crop of graduates gathered in Thomas Assembly Center on Wednesday, Nov. 19, for fall quarter commencement exercises.

The 321 fall graduates of Louisiana Tech were challenged to use their education to “make this a better world.”

“Graduates, earning a college degree is a rather significant accomplishment,” Dr. Randy Moffett told the graduates and guests at Thomas Assembly Center on Tech”s campus Wednesday, Nov. 19. Moffett is the president of the University of Louisiana System and a Tech alumnus.

He reminded them that less than 35 percent of the people in the United States have a college degree.

Dr. Randy Moffett, the recently appointed president of the University of Louisiana System, speaks during Louisiana Tech”s fall quarter commencement ceremony. Moffett is a Jonesboro native and a Tech alumnus.
“I don”t tell you that to increase your sense of privilege, but to really heighten your sense of obligation to those who have not enjoyed the opportunities that you had and will have because of your degree,” Moffett said.

He told them that their work was not over and that it was just beginning. “That is really why we call today”s ceremony “commencement”,” he said. “It is a beginning for you to commence on that journey toward those life experiences and opportunities that you can use to make this a better world.”

Moffett told the audience that speaking at their graduation was like coming home.

“When I gradated from Tech in 1969, it was a very different world than today,” he said. “But in some ways, there were some striking similarities between our country now and our country then.”

He cited the social turmoil in the cities, civil rights, the war in Vietnam, the economy, health care and world hunger among the issues of the time. He said those same issues exist today.

“Americans were bursting with pride over the first man on the moon,” he said. He told them that because of that space venture, today they enjoy such technological advances as the Internet.

“I challenge you that we need to recapture this same spirit of ingenuity in every aspect of our society,” he said.

Moffett urged the graduates to work to regain the moral compass that the nation seems to have lost in recent years. He said that they face moral dilemmas that require compassion, wisdom and courage.

“We face mammoth challenges in our world and in our country and in our state,” he said. “I urge you with your degree from Louisiana Tech to make it your personal mission to help address those challenges.”

Written by Reginald Owens