May – A season of recognizing, remembering achievements

Published 6:27 pm Sunday, June 11, 2023

Troy University recently announced the names of local students who were named to the university’s Provost List. The list recognized the academic excellence of full-time students from Crenshaw Butler, and Lowndes counties, and other communities around the world who registered for at least 12 semester hours and achieved a grade point average of at least 3.65 in their coursework.

From Crenshaw County, 12 Butler County students were named to the list. There were also two high-achieving students listed from Lowndes County, and three from Butler County.

And while Troy and other local colleges were honoring top students, high schools from the tri-county area celebrated graduation for the class of 2023.

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As our newspapers prepared to cover commencement exercises, students receiving top honors, and the awarding of scholarships, memories of my own high school and college experiences flooded in, accompanied by those shared with my daughters in their high school and college days.

Suddenly, I was thinking of 1989, and the valedictory speech I delivered to the senior class of Saint James School in Montgomery. I can recall the nervous energy and the sense of pride shared with my fellow classmates as we prepared for the next steps on our educational journey.

Facebook reminds me constantly of high school graduations for my daughters in 2011 and 2015. Again, my mother’s heart swelled with pride as I viewed photos from their 2015 and 2020 Troy University commencement ceremonies.

I recalled those days when Jamelyn and Angie earned their spots on Troy’s Provost’s Lists. Together we remembered celebrating the accomplishments of their friends as they completed educational milestones – joining the Beta Club, receiving scholarships, graduating, embarking on careers.

As I interviewed top students for each graduating class, and learned many of them were Beta Club members, I recalled my own Beta Club membership, and wore my mother’s Beta Club pin to my own graduation.

Each May, communities celebrate the accomplishments of students and graduates. It is a time which brings to mind our own special moments, sometimes recalling memories long since stowed away. 

Yesterday, I took my mother’s tassel out of the cedar chest, recalling how proud she was to be the salutatorian for the Highland Home School class of 1951. Her diploma, rolled up and tied with a ribbon, accompanies my own, a reminder of how we worked and achieved our own goals.

Congratulations to each member of the class of 2023. May your memories be as sweet decades from now as they are today.