Over its 133-year history, Northwestern State has graduated over 75,000 students. 1,737 new alumni are welcomed to these ranks from the 2016-2017 academic year. Spring commencement ceremonies on May 12 not only accepted new alumni but also officially marked the start of Dr. Chris Maggio’s presidency.
Special guests included some members of the UL System Board of Supervisors, two representatives from the Louisiana State Legislature, President of Natchitoches Parish Rickey Nowlin and other distinguished guests, one of which was alumnus Stewart Ewing, who received an honorary doctorate in the morning ceremony.
NSU’s 18th president and current ULS President Dr. Jim Henderson made an appearance as well to bestow the NSU President’s chain to Maggio. This chain has the name of each previous NSU president engraved with the respective years each served.
Complete with confetti cannons, on-stage selfies and dabbing, speeches were filled with jokes about tweets, Jimmy Leach finally graduating — after eight years — and advice for the 2017 class on “adulting 2.0.”
Ewing, speaker at both spring ceremonies, gave ten lessons to the new graduates, including the following: focus on improvement, not perfection; become a good listener; follow your passion; be humble; and do the right thing.
Graduates also have advice to give future generations of Demons for their experiences in “Demonland.”
Courtney Foret received a Bachelor of Science in psychology from the Gallaspy Family College of Education and Human Development. She will continue her education at the University of Southern Mississippi to pursue a master’s degree in applied behavioral analysis.
“Honestly, it hasn’t fully hit me yet [that I’ve graduated],” Foret said.
Her advice to incoming freshmen: “Get involved, and make sure you stay on top of your work, because it pays off in the end,” Foret said.
From the Louisiana Scholars’ College, Michael Thrower graduated magna cum laude, a distinction given to those earning a 3.70-3.89 GPA, earning a Bachelor of Science in psychology with a minor in liberal arts.
Following graduation, Thrower will take a year off to study for the LSAT and GRE in preparation of applying for either law school or graduate school. Though his own path isn’t set in stone, Thrower said everyone should ultimately determine their own.
“Find the path that works for you, and don’t let anyone tell you what your path is,” Thrower said. “It’s something that you need to decide for yourself, and don’t let your path be swayed too much by others.”
The Current Sauce would like to extend our congratulations to the class of 2017 and welcome the incoming freshman class to the NSU family.