Graduation anticipation

COMMENCEMENT — Graduates celebrate both their accomplishments and bright futures. Les Schofer

Three months. In less than three short months, the members of class of 2011 will walk across the commencement stage and boldly step out into the great unknown.

Some seniors are counting down the days until graduation. Others are too busy with capstone courses to notice that it is the middle of February, meaning spring break is imminent.

The remainder of the graduating class is clinging to the last precious moments with favorite faculty members and friends, realizing life will be changed the moment their tassels are turned.

Liberty has meant so much to each of us in our four years. The school has been an incredible ride of inspiring faculty members and learning life lessons from friends that we could never learn elsewhere, regardless of how many credits we took or what degree we pursued.

Liberty challenged each of us academically and spiritually. It has been wonderful to be nurtured spiritually, but seniors must ask themselves, “Are we prepared to be sent out into a dark world where standard morals and values are a thing of the past?”

The time has come for us as a class to choose. Will we accept the spiritual truths that were taught to us? Will we spend our days aimlessly consuming or relentlessly producing? Will we be Champions for Christ who simply get jobs after graduation or will we be the generation that produces jobs?

Will we allow ourselves the ability to dream or will we simply settle for the status quo? There is a certain fear in dreaming, for dreaming requires risk taking. Risks, although they can be dangerous or costly, often come with unimaginable rewards.

As children, we were enchanted by fairytales brought to us by the Walt Disney Corporation.

“All our dreams can come true…if we have the courage to pursue them,” Walt Disney said.

Speaker of the House John Boehner, Bill Cosby and Harriet Beecher Stowe all lived out this timeless piece of advice.

Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner was not born with a silver spoon in his mouth. One of 11 children, his first job was working at the bar his family owned, Andy’s Café. He also worked as a janitor at Xavier University. He was not afraid of hard work, a principle that served him well, according to the New York Times.

Bill Cosby, whose comedy is legendary, did not grow up with much to laugh at. His father was an alcoholic and his younger brother died when Cosby was only 8 years old. At age 9, he started shining shoes and later found work at a grocery store to help make ends meet. Cosby dropped out of high school, served in the Navy and after leaving the Navy attended college at Temple University. At Temple he worked at a coffee house. While on the job he told jokes and as they say, the rest is history, according to

Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote Uncle Tom’s Cabin in response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850.

In an era where women did little outside the home, Stowe wrote an abolitionist book that was translated into 37 languages and sold more than 500,000 copies within its first five years of publication in the United States. The book has never gone out of print, according to Stowe used fiction to tell the horrid truth.

Her willingness to tell the truth when few else would is what inspired me to pursue a career in journalism.

Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

Seniors, as you prepare for commencement, do not focus on the bleak economy or wrestle with the fear of the unknown. Allow yourself to dream, muster the work ethic of individuals such as Speaker Boehner, Cosby and Stowe. Rest in the truth of Jeremiah 29:11. Take risks and dream big, after all, if Dr. Falwell were here he would encourage you to do the same. Do not stand daunted at the task before you. Instead, step boldly into the future, which God has called you to and of which you have dreamt.

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