12/14/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 12/14/2019 15:46
Indiana State University conferred degrees on 782 students Saturday during Winter Commencement at Hulman Center.
ISU President Deborah Curtis urged graduates to 'reach, stretch, connect.'
'We speak regularly about what a transformational experience it is to earn a college degree,' Curtis said. 'You've evolved as a student, a thinker, a scholar, a leader, and from this point forward my colleagues and I challenge you to go out and find your passion.'
Robert Lowe, '92, GR '97, vice president of human resources and corporate talent acquisition for JBT AeroTech in Orlando, gave the alumni address.
Lowe gave an inspiring account of how he grew from being a self-described 'knucklehead' of limited means to changing his life by taking advantage of opportunities at Indiana State University.
'I am in awe of how amazing God is,' Lowe said. 'See, He took a young man who was broken and hurt and scarred, who was scared to walk across the (graduation) stage, and put me at the podium as a giver instead of a recipient. Everything you need is in you…'
Communication major James Fraiser of Jasonville, Ind. --- a Marine, an actor in ISU theater productions, a father, and a husband --- drew on his military experiences while addressing classmates.
'More often than not, the breaking point is actually the making point,' Fraiser said. 'It is often when we find ourselves in the darkest moments and most difficult trials that we find the way through. Remember that like the body, the mind and soul are designed to adapt: They must be strained in order to develop to their fullest potential. Today is proof of your 'making points.''
Fraiser enlisted in the Marines after graduating from high school in 2011 and was deployed twice with the 3rd Battalion 5th Marine Regiment. He enrolled at Indiana State when he relocated to the area to be closer to his wife, Mandy. The couple welcomed a son, Rhett, on May 14.
Fraiser encouraged the graduates to remember their shared humanity. You 'start at zero' with everyone you meet, Fraiser said, and treating others with respect and dignity is essential to making a lasting impression.
'In the Marine Corps, it mattered not your race, creed, religion, gender or orientation,' he said. 'Our focus and what mattered was our ability to complete the mission - to do what was asked of us and do it well.
'Class of 2019, be humble, understand the struggle never ends, and remember, we are a strong unit!'
Photo 1 - ISU graduate
Photo 2 - Alumni speaker Robert Lowe
Photo 3 - Student speaker James Fraiser
Photo 4 - ISU graduate
Media contact: Mark Alesia, director of university communication
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