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You Visit Tour. Webb Lion Fountain. June 1 2017. Photo David B. Hollingsworth

Commencement Speaker Shares Inspiring Message and Words of Advice

A Virginia congressman delivered words of advice and inspiration to graduates at Old Dominion's 118th commencement exercises on May 11.

For the second straight year, spring commencement was split into three ceremonies over two days to accommodate the more than 2,600 undergraduate, master's and doctoral students taking part in the programs at the Ted Constant Convocation Center. On the morning of Saturday, May 11, the graduating class from the Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology joined those graduates from College of Health Sciences and College of Sciences.

U.S. Rep. J. Randy Forbes (R-Va.) spoke to the graduates at the morning ceremony. A former Virginia state legislator, Forbes was elected to Congress in 2001 as representative of Virginia's 4th District. He chairs the House Armed Services Seapower and Projection Forces Subcommittee.

In opening his remarks, Forbes said ODU was great not because of its buildings or endowment, but rather because of the "dedication of its faculty and administration and commitment of its student body."

The congressman said he was "tempted" to be jealous of graduates receiving degrees Saturday, while noting the "enormous challenges" they will face.

Forbes offered four guiding principles: Take the time to make good choices, don't quit, help other people and give something to the country.

If those four principles are applied, "I believe America will be a better place," Forbes said.

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