DENMARK — Voorhees College recently held its annual Legacy Dinner featuring alumnus Gary Edwards, Class of 2012 graduate and Mr. VC Alumni 2018, as the keynote speaker.
The purpose of the Legacy Dinner is to prepare freshmen for their college journey ahead and reaffirm the importance of staying the course and obtaining a college degree.
Edwards said to the students they need to determine their purpose and earn a college degree.
“Class of 2023, you have a journey to begin and now is the time you start getting focused so you can make it to graduation day,” Edwards said. “As it is Responsibility, Opportunity, Aspiration, and Reflection (R.O.A.R.) week, I will share my own R.O.A.R. significance.
He said R is for responsibility and began telling a story about a lion and gazelle.
“Lions are strong and fast. They do not need any push to get something done and they stand alone. A gazelle is a little slower and may need a little help from time to time. No matter if you are a lion or gazelle, stay focused on your journey and work through any challenges and obstacles you may face along the way.”
Edwards said O is for opportunity and told the students seize the moment they have of attending Voorhees College.
“I am a proud product of Voorhees and I had my struggles, but I knew this was an opportunity I could not afford to lose. Each of you have an opportunity to decide what kind of legacy you want to leave.
He added that there will be plenty of distractions, but it is up to them to keep their studies first and decide what they should participate in.
Edwards said A is for achieve.
“You will fail in life, but as long as you get back up and keep going you will succeed. Without commitment you won’t have consistency, without consistency you cannot achieve your dreams and goals."
He ended with R for reflection.
“In life, we have to reflect and take ownership of our individual journeys. Reflect on what worked and what did not. Learn from your mistakes and move forward so you do not get left behind. Earn your degree and go out into the world and be productive citizens."
Edwards graduated from Voorhees College in 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and a master’s degree in counseling psychology from Alabama A&M University. Currently, he is pursuing his doctoral degree in leadership and professional practice at Trevecca Nazarene University.
He is a native of Piedmont, S.C., and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
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