Russell County Commission Chairman Chance Corbett encouraged Troy University graduates on Friday to discover their goals and pursue them with persistence and dedication.
Speaking to nearly 100 graduates from the University’s Phenix City Campus during a ceremony at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center, the Troy University alumnus recalled the pride he felt in the accomplishment of walking across the stage to receive his diploma.
“Be proud of yourselves for this accomplishment,” he said. “We all are very proud of you. Never minimize this milestone and never minimize the impact you have on your family and those around you. Celebrate this accomplishment and the hard work you put in to get here to this point tonight. Seize this day and go forward to make it count.”
Corbett challenged graduates to never give up, even when their plans don’t seem to be working out.
“There is an old adage that says ‘Be stubborn about your goals, but be flexible about your methods.’ What that means to me is that just because your plan doesn’t seem to be working out the way you intended for it to doesn’t mean you should stop pushing toward your goal,” he said. “It means you change your plans; you adjust and you move forward. I can tell you that I’ve had some changes of plans through the years. The important piece of that is to always be ready to adjust your methods to achieve your goals.”
Corbett told graduates that while his path had changed from time to time, his goal to make a difference for his family and community had always remained the same.
“Sometimes your path is before you, but sometimes you are going to discover it as you go forward,” he said. “Every day when I get up, my inspiration is my family, the goal of doing something to make my community better and to do things that will help people.”
Corbett challenged graduates to create goals and then dedicate themselves to achieving them.
“What are your goals? Some of you may say that you have reached your goal here tonight by earning this degree,” he said. “Others will say they want to look for a great job that will recognize the accomplishments they have made here. Goals in life can be accomplished with a little perseverance and dedication. You have already made a huge step toward that today by earning this degree. Be true to your goals. Never give up on yourself.”
A lifelong resident of Russell County, Corbett currently is in his third term as a County Commissioner and serves as Emergency Manager and Director of Homeland Security for the city of Columbus, Ga.
Corbett received his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and master’s degree in Education from Troy University, and holds Paramedic and Law Enforcement certifications in both Alabama and Georgia, as well as an international emergency management certification. He has taught college at Chattahoochee Valley Community College, Troy University and Auburn University.
Corbett and his wife, Jennifer, have two children, Colten 17 and Alice 12.