Leave Your Mark, Medgar Evers' President Tells Graduating Students

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"I hope you leave Medgar Evers College today knowing in the deep-down marrow of your bones that you are great," said Dr. Pollard


Graduating students were urged to leave their imprint on the world by Medgar Evers' President at the schools 39th commencement exercises on Saturday.

"Graduates we are here in celebration of your future, in recognition of your tireless efforts, and in celebration of the vision you embraced as you first walked through the doors of Medgar Evers College all those years ago. Today, you grasp a diploma, tomorrow, and for many tomorrows to come, you firmly grasp that brass ring," said Medgar Evers College President Dr. William L. Pollard to the Class of 2010 on June 5, 2010. 

The Class of 2010 commencement theme, "Create and Achieve Success, Reach for the Stars," was certainly embodied by the graduating class which included 308 degree candidates - nearly 30 percent - graduating with honors.

Notable grads include the National Grid Charles Evan Inniss Scholarship awardee Mr. Antoine Faye, who is pursuing his Masters in International Affairs at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University as well as two Dr. Betty Shabazz Scholarship awardees: Psychology major Ms. Faun Rockliffe, who has been admitted to the Ph.D. program at Howard University, and Mr. Denver Jean Baptist, who will be studying molecular biology in the Ph.D. program at Princeton University. 

The class valedictorian, who graduated with a 3.92 GPA, introduced herself to those assembled saying: "I am Sophia Smart. Yes, smart by name and by nature." She then went on to give a heartfelt address to her peers that included five "Fs," a letter she jokingly acknowledged wasthe bane of every student's existence, to live by. The "Fs" stood for faith for "the tough times," find[ing] a cause, find[ing] yourself, find[ing] meaning, and even failure - which she noted was an essential opportunity to learn. 

Officiating at his first commencement ceremony, Dr. Pollard delivered the keynote address to a packed amphitheater filled with 1,067 graduates and their families, faculty and staff, CUNY Board of Trustee members, as well as VIP guests and elected officials that included U.S. Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, NYC Councilmen Al Vann and Charles Barron, and President-National Chapter, 100 Black Men of New York, Phillip Banks, amongst others. 

"I hope you leave Medgar Evers College today knowing in the deep-down marrow of your bones that you are great," said Dr. Pollard, in his address to the graduates. "Your time here has given you the gift of possibilities - so go forward and leave your imprint on this world. Let generations that follow in your footsteps know that you were here."  

"You are poised to become the next generation, the now generation of community leaders, executives, perhaps even elected officials," said Congresswoman Clarke.  "You are an example to a generation coming behind you of what can be done with discipline, focus and with perseverance."

On the eve of the College's 40th Anniversary, the Thirty-Ninth Commencement exercises was a fitting reminder of the institution's tremendous growth and continued potential.
About Medgar Evers College. www.mec.cuny.edu

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