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MUW hosts first-ever December commencement ceremony

 

Newest members of The W’s Long Blue Line demonstrate the wave at graduation ceremonies Dec. 7 in Rent Auditorium.

Newest members of The W’s Long Blue Line demonstrate the wave at graduation ceremonies Dec. 7 in Rent Auditorium. Photo by: Chris Jenkins/MUW Office of Public Affairs

 

Special to The Dispatch

 

Robin Robinson, a member of the state Board of Trustees, Institutions of Higher Learning, shared the VIP Principle of success with approximately 100 graduates Dec. 7 at Mississippi University for Women's first-ever December commencement ceremony. 

 

"This principle has three key ingredients that, if practiced to perfection, will spell success -- whatever your definition of success might be," she said. "Those key ingredients are vision, involvement and persistence." 

 

Using her personal experiences as an example, Robinson cited an example of graduation from college in 1978 and beginning her career with Laurel-based Sanderson Farms.  

 

"I had decided by 1984 that I wanted to be the director of organization development and serve on the executive committee. Well, I worked hard to make my vision a reality. In 1986, I was named chief internal auditor; in 1995, human resources manager; and finally in 2000, my vision became a reality. I was named director of organization development ... It only took me 15 years to get to my dream job," she told graduates. 

 

She stressed the importance of work ethic, attitude, values and enthusiasm. 

 

In her address, Robinson pointed to a quote by Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States: "Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; Nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; The world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent." 

 

Robinson said the slogan "'Press On' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." 

 

In closing, the keynote speaker encouraged graduates to "Never, ever, ever, ever, give up!" 

 

 

 

Medals of Excellence 

 

As part of the ceremony, MUW President Jim Borsig also awarded Medals of Excellence in recognition of exemplary service to MUW following the disastrous 2002 F-3 tornado that struck campus, damaging many historic buildings and destroying others. Awarded since 1979, the Medal of Excellence is the university's highest non-degree honor. 

 

One of the recipients was former Sen. Trent Lott, a 2007 Medal of Excellence recipient, who provided invaluable assistance throughout the recovery process and ensured the scope of damages to the Art and Design Building were fully addressed. 

 

Awards were also presented to the following: 

 

  • Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, who provided immediate response to the disaster, expanding the scope of the 2002 3rd Extraordinary Session to provide matching funds for disaster assistance. Gov. Musgrove signed HB 20 on Nov. 18, just eight days after the tornado. 

     

  • Robert Latham, executive director of the Mississippi Emergency Management Agency, who not only led the state's response, but who assisted MUW in documenting the scope of damages following his retirement from that role. 

     

  • Paul Barlow, director of the Mississippi Bureau of Buildings (retired), who provided expertise, professional referrals and assistance in facilitating the recovery process. 

     

  • The City of Columbus and Lowndes County, whose leaders worked hand-in-hand with university officials to coordinate local disaster response and provide direct assistance to campus even as they responded to needs in the larger community. 

     

  • Columbus Air Force Base, a good community partner and among the first to provide assistance with more than 190 pairs of boots on the ground, as well as equipment such as dump trucks and front-end loaders to begin clean-up and recovery.

     

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