Dr. Larry Shinn, Alliance Native and President of Berea College, Addresses Mount Union College Class

April 06, 2010

Mount Union College held its 157th Commencement Ceremonies on Sunday, May 11. Dr. Larry D. Shinn, president of Berea College in Kentucky and an Alliance native, addressed the graduating class of 2003.

Shinn challenged the 409 graduates to keep learning. "As a young man, I knew I wanted to learn and to keep learning," said Shinn. "At the age of 61, I am still learning."

Shinn reminded the graduates that, "each of us stands where we stand because of family, friends and mentors who helped us to learn. The accomplishments you celebrate today are not simply your own. Every one of us has a gifted life."

He stated that the benefit of having a college degree is not greater earning capacity or status. The true benefit of a college education is what they have learned and that they have acquired the capacity to learn.

Furthermore, Shinn stated that as witnesses to the events of September 11, the graduates should remember that, as Americans, they are part of the global community.

"We are all part of the world -- our interdependence is not just economic. You have gifted lives. Use them to make a world of peace," said Shinn.

Dr. Richard Marriott, vice president for academic affairs and dean of the College, presented the candidates for their degrees. The graduates were greeted on the platform by Mount Union College President Dr. John L. Ewing, Jr. and Sylvester Green, chairman of the Mount Union College Board of Trustees. Melanie McMaster, senior class president from Chardon, spoke on behalf of the class of 2003.

At the baccalaureate service this morning, Reverend Jonathan D. Keaton, bishop of the Ohio East Area of the United Methodist Church, urged the graduates to "go make a life" using three guiding principles: "keep your success in perspective; never stop growing; and make good decisions."

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