The Right Place and Time: Averett Graduates Told to Live in Gratefulness and Launch Forward

Posted on May 4th, 2019 by Danielle Staub

“When we live in gratefulness we live richer lives with greater meaning. Be grateful for all the right places and right times you experience in life,” commencement speaker and vice chair of the Averett University Board of Trustees Dan Carlton told more than 170 graduates on May 4.

During the Spring Commencement ceremony, Averett University graduated 224 students between the Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS), IDEAL and traditional programs. Of those 224 students, 177 participated in the May 4 ceremony. A little over one-third of the graduates completed their degrees within the GPS program, two students through the IDEAL program and the rest traditional. Among the graduates, 18 are veterans and four are international students from Norway, England, Finland and Ireland. The graduates range in age from 20 to 67.

Honorary speaker Carlton asked the room to think about a moment when they didn’t believe they would make it to today.

“In those big and small moments – someone showed up at just the right time and in just the right place and encouraged you, challenged you, loved you and got you back on track so you could get to this day. Many of those folks are in this audience or watching online,” Carlton said.

He then gave the graduates four points to consider:

  1. We need to be grateful when we are at the right place at the right time.
  2. Don’t live under the tyranny that there are finite right places and right times.
  3. Be willing to discover right times and right places.
  4. Go out and create the right time and place for others.

“Please don’t be afraid to wait for the right time and right place where you are. Be willing to look for it,” said Carlton. “Don’t jump from job to job, person to person, organization to organization, thinking you are not in the right place at the right time – stay where you are and keep looking … it will come!”

Reminding the graduates to be grateful, Carlton did not want them to stop there, but rather to look forward. He encouraged the room that there is so much more to come.

“If today is only a launching pad for the success of your life, then we have failed. Today is about launching deeper into a world that needs to know they, too, are alive at the right place and right time. So invest your life in that – don’t reduce your life to a transactional existent where you just count up what you have at the end. Invest your life into others,” Carlton said.

Dr. Timothy Fulop, vice president of academic affairs and student success, then presented the graduates and recognized those receiving awards, including:

Traditional Undergraduate Awards:

Mary C. Fugate: Katherine Lisa Johnson
Grace V. Crenshaw: Williams Chase Bridgen
C.L. Davenport Award For Excellence: Jenny Gregory
Curtis Bishop Award: Emily Stanley
American Legion Citizenship Award: Paige Robbins

Graduate and Professional Studies (GPS) Awards:

Malcolm Knowles Award: Tiffany Mazell Daniels
Frank Campbell Award: Debbie Denise Williams