Graduates received advice on life lessons about expectations, success and love from Tennessee's Department of Education Commissioner Timothy Webb on Saturday in Hooper Eblen Center as Tennessee Tech University held its final summer commencement. Webb, who told graduates along with their families and friends about his humble beginnings in Hohenwald, Tenn., said his parents taught him life lessons more valuable than all his formal education.
"I came here today to recruit you to do something very, very important," Webb said. "I was raised by two folks who never graduated from high school, and I was the first in my family to graduate from college. First, to whom much is given, much is expected. Please don't stop now with your accomplishments. We must span the gap for our next generation and community. It has been said 'Adversity introduces us to ourselves.'"
Webb then told the audience that true success in life is measured by leaving things better than you found them. He cautioned them not to measure success by material gain.
"Finally, love your family and love your friends," he admonished. "Remember to say I love you and mean it."
Following summer commencement, TTU has granted more than 65,000 degrees. Students graduating from TTU this summer hailed from 13 states including Tennessee, 67 Tennessee counties and five foreign countries. They represented 32 undergraduate fields of study and 19 graduate fields.