Assistant Professor of Biology Kenwyn Cradock told Eastern New Mexico University graduates to embrace challenge and exceed their own expectations.
Cradock’s message was part of commencement ceremonies Saturday that included granting degrees to 297 graduates.
“One cannot be the light that is truly excellent without one belonging to something greater to have hope for oneself,” Cradock said, reading a quote from Christian philosopher St. Anselm of Canterbury.
“This means different things to different people,” Cradock said. “To me it says in order to reach for the stars, you have to leave an impression on the heart of the community.
“That community will mean different things to different people and will change over time. They leave a lasting legacy that goes beyond oneself and giving back something greater than ourselves,” Cradock said.
Cradock said by graduating, students recognize the people who have come before them and lay the groundwork for those to come.
Lee Hinton, a Hobbs native living in Portales, earned a degree in business with an emphasis in accounting. Hinton said his toughest challenge was staying focused.
“The final stretch before graduation,” Hinton said. “Then knowing that it was finally going to come. I kept plugging away even when I felt like I wasn’t going to make it.”
Katie Baker, of Muleshoe, received a bachelor’s degree in university studies. Baker said the most difficult obstacle for her was figuring out her degree.
“Music just wasn’t working out for me,” Baker said. “I had to sit myself down and said seriously ‘what do I want to be when I grow up?’ I’ve always wanted to do something with horses, but if I switch over to agriculture then I lose two years of work.”
Baker said she got a degree with an emphasis in agriculture and music.