Georgia Governor Nathan Deal congratulated the graduates at the 9 a.m. Commencement ceremony at Clayton State University on May 4.
Of course, every Commencement speaker congratulates the graduates. Georgia’s chief executive, the first sitting governor to address a Clayton State graduation, had something more tangible for the 250 degree recipients in attendance on Saturday.
Deal neatly overturned the old adage, “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” by telling his audience, “It’s not what you know, or who you know, it’s what you are.”
The governor, is giving what he described as “some practical observations” for the graduates, also noted that, “good enough is not good enough… who you are will dictate your future. Are you a good person?
“These are the brushes and colors with which you will paint the mural of your life.”
As has been the case for several years, Clayton State held two ceremonies on May 4. Approximately 250 graduates from the College of Business, College of Health, and College of Information and Mathematical Sciences heard Deal’s remarks at the 9 a.m. ceremony. The noon ceremony, with Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall as the commencement speaker, was for approximately 265 graduates of the College of Arts & Sciences.
Using an analogy that everyone present could relate to, Hall noted that what has been considered common knowledge is now less common.
“The way the world is now, the road less-travelled is not the exception, but the rule,” he said. “We have a GPS in our cars, but not in our lives. You have to develop your own GPS.
"You have to have a GPS for your soul. You have to develop your own GPS along the road of life.”
Saturday’s ceremonies were also highlighted by the awarding of a posthumous degree. The family of the late Scharlie-Marteace Lockhart, one of the University’s best-known alumni and student workers, was present at the noon ceremony, which coincidentally also marked the anniversary of his birth, to receive his posthumous Masters of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) from Clayton State President Dr. Thomas J. Hynes. Lockhart, who previously earned a B.S. in Sociology from Clayton State, passed away unexpectedly on Mar. 1, 2013. A frequent visitor and worker at the Clayton State Disability Resource Center (DRC) during his undergraduate days, Lockhart was working for the DRC, and Director Louise Bedrossian, as well as completing his MALS degree, at the time of his death.
Hynes presented the posthumous degree to Lockhart’s mother, Meirley N. Lockhart of Riverdale, Ga.. Also in attendance on Saturday was Marteace Lockhart’s sister, Dr. Sharbrenia Lockhart-Thompson, of Ellenwood, Ga.