More than 400 graduates walked across the stage on May 17 at Grambling State University to receive their diplomas.The commencement address was given by Gov. Bobby Jindal amid his fight to reduce budgets for education and health care in Louisiana. However, Jindal did not touch on the budget crisis.
“The worst thing is to look at a program and see a politician is speaking,” Jindal said.
He went on to say that normally politicians speak about the accomplishments they have made; he said he wasn’t going to do that. “This is the students’ day,” he said, invoking applause from the audience.
Jindal told the class of 2009 to keep an open mind about the challenging economy and strenuous fight to obtain a job. He also gave the graduates a challenge.
“I’m going to challenge you to be a seeker of truth,” he said. “You’ve all heard the expression that knowledge is power. .. The only problem with that is that it’s not true. . Knowledge is not power. Truth is power.”
Jindal also encouraged graduates to feel free to come back to the state to open their own businesses.
“Louisiana is one of the best places to start a business,” he said. “You can dream big right here at home.”
GSU also honored two graduates as the highest-ranking graduates of the spring class of 2009: Lerone Charles, a marketing major, and Prisca Simon, a graduate of hotel and restaurant management. Both hailed from Castries, St. Lucia, and achieved a 4.0 grade point average.
GSU also awarded an honorary degree to Dr. Cuthbert O. Simpkins, a Shreveport dentist, civil rights leader and member of the Grambling Black and Gold Foundation board of directors.
Also, the GSU graduating class of 1959 celebrated its 50th anniversary and received diplomas as well.
Seeing the nation suffer as it has due to the economic collapse, Jindal also encouraged the graduates to be honest, telling them to “be the cedar of truth.” He also touched on a topic that has many Americans fuming: greed.
In his speech, Jindal told the graduates to do their best to avoid greed and that success was more than money.
“Greed kills,” he said sternly. “The root of all America’s financial problems is greed.