More than 400 graduate during spring commencement


TUSKEGEE, Ala. (May 10, 2014) — In festive fashion, the university ushered in a new class of graduates today. Although the morning was rainy and overcast, the mood was jubilant and warm inside the Gen. Daniel “Chappie” James Center for Aerospace Science and Health Education as 430 students were awarded their degrees. Much of the day was peppered with cheering, songs and loud chanting of “TU. You know!” 



Bostick being presented honorary degree
by Tuskegee University Acting President,
Matthew Jenkins and Tuskegee University
Board of Trustees Chairman, retired
Maj. Gen. Charles E. Williams. 
Acting President Dr. Matthew Jenkins welcomed the audience and paid tribute to women and wished all mothers a happy Mothers’ Day. He also said all the visitors are special to the university.

“All of you are part of our Tuskegee family. When you leave here, you will become our ambassadors,” Jenkins said. ”

Kyle Spencer, Tuskegee University Student Government Association 2013-2014 president, summed up the accomplishments of the Class of 2014 with one phrase: “We made it.” He said the challenges and hardships that he and others faced during their years were positive influences.

“At the end of the day, Mother Tuskegee was molding us to be great,” Spencer said.

Senior Class president 2013-2014, Shaelan Perry, paid tribute to fallen student, Bobby J. Smith, Jr. Smith, 21, was fatally wounded Sept. 28 when a shooting occurred at a block party in the City of Tuskegee. The native of Mabelton, Ga., was finance major, played for the university’s tennis team and was the father of an infant son. His family was present to receive a special certificate. Perry said the tragic event saddened the Tuskegee community, but united it in a new purpose – to stand against violence. 

“Violence is not the answer and will not be tolerated in our schools and in our communities,” Perry said. 

Lt. Gen. Thomas P. Bostick, 53rd U.S. Army Chief of Engineers and Commanding General of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, was the keynote speaker. Bostick said he was honored that a “soldier” had the opportunity to address the graduates of such a prestigious university. 

“Today, you celebrate an achievement that no one can ever take away from you- a highly valued and hard earned education, based on merit,” Bostick said. 

He said it was important that the military stay engaged with the population it serves and ensure that freedom is preserved. He also applauded the work done by Tuskegee’s forefathers to build the university.

“An education from Tuskegee became a student’s passport to the future,” Bostick said. 

After his address, Bostick was awarded an honorary Doctor of Engineer degree by Jenkins and Tuskegee University Board of Trustees Chairman, retired Maj. Gen. Charles E. Williams. 

© 2014 Tuskegee University

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