By Itawamba Community College
FULTON – More than 500 Itawamba Community College graduates received associate’s degrees or certificates during two commencement ceremonies Saturday at the Davis Event Center at the Fulton campus.
Ceremonies included the Associate of Arts at and Associate of Applied Science and certificates.
Toni D. Cooley, J.D., of Madison, president of the Systems’ Companies, challenged A.A. graduates to develop a brand for themselves.
“Think of yourself as a business,” she said. “Create an out-of-the box experience for yourselves. It’s about thinking and talent, and you can think only if you experience life.”
Displaying a hockey puck to the audience, Cooley said that in her 41 years of listening to speeches she remembers only one, which was delivered by hockey great, Wayne Gretzky, who handed out hockey pucks during a Jackson presentation. “Whatever you do in life,” Cooley said, “stay ahead of the puck.”
Cooley advised the graduates to “do something unrequired and unexpected” like volunteering.
“There is so much untapped talent in Mississippi,” Cooley said. “As you leave this college, remember that you are Mississippi. I am ICC. I am Itawamba. I am Mississippi. Believe it.”
Saturday’s graduates were among the 1,000 students who have earned degrees at ICC so far this year.