Fairmont State University’s 149th Commencement celebrated more than 900 students receiving graduate, undergraduate and associate degrees during historic double ceremonies. Dr. Stephen B. Jones served as the Commencement speaker.
“I have served at nine different universities and this is in fact a very special place,” said Jones. “A place committed to Fairmont, to the Mon River Valley, to North Central West Virginia, to the region. Its purpose driven. The purpose of this University, being to serve the region, to serve our graduates, our students, our alumni, and the community at large.”
During his address, Jones talked about the three most impactful speeches he has ever heard. The first, from Dr. Jim Goodnight who gave a Commencement address at North Carolina State University. The second from North Caroline State basketball coach Jim Valvano, who after a distinguished coaching career, battled cancer and spent the last portion of his life as a motivational speaker. And the third was John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address.
Jones concluded with these remarks. “Wherever this life takes you, be true to your visions and dreams. Commit to the place where you find yourself—wherever that happens to be. Dare to be bold. Live with purpose. And let passion fuel everything that you do. Enjoy life, don’t waste it. Don’t squander it. I wish you safe and pleasant travels and may you forever soar like the Falcon!"