Wicker implores MSU grads to make a difference

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker addresses graduates at Mississippi State University’s commencement exercises Saturday. (Photo courtesy MSU)

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker addresses graduates at Mississippi State University’s commencement exercises Saturday. (Photo courtesy MSU)

Mississippi State University

STARKVILLE – U.S. Sen. Roger F. Wicker told Mississippi State fall graduates Saturday that big things are expected from them, but that important contributions to society don’t always come with public acclaim.

Wicker delivered the commencement address to 1,300 graduates at Humphrey Coliseum. The ceremony included a number of graduates from the summer term, for which there is no separate event.

Wicker encouraged the graduates not to shy away from seemingly unnoticed acts, but to do their parts as citizens, parents, neighbors and friends. He noted that leadership comes in all shapes and sizes, from running a Fortune 500 company to coaching Little League.

“If you can’t be a world-famous preacher, you can teach Sunday School,” Wicker said. “If your concerts don’t sell out a stadium, there’s always community theater. As much as we need great federal judges like (MSU alumna) Debra Brown, we also need judges for the science fair.”

He called on the new graduates to recognize that their success in life is not from publicly acclaimed achievements but from doing their best, even in a small way.

Wicker went on to say, “For those of us fortunate enough to live and study in the United States of America, we are the luckiest of all. We won the lottery without even having to buy a ticket.”

Such good fortune, he said, requires caution and a sense of history, which leads to a sense of obligation.

“As of today, if not before, you are the trustees of the greatest system of government ever conceived by the human mind. Be careful with it, be thankful for it, improve upon it, and remember your obligation to those who will follow.”