Dr. Glenda Curry, rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Homewood and former president of Troy University’s Montgomery Campus, challenged TROY students to become the best versions of themselves through service to others.
Speaking to the annual Honors Convocation Monday night in the Claudia Crosby Theater on the Troy Campus, Dr. Curry told the audience that the pursuit of excellence is about more than individual success and accomplishment.
“Sometimes, though I hate to admit it, I catch myself being concerned more than I would like with looking good,” Dr. Curry said. “Tonight you look great. As I look out and see so many bright faces, it is wonderful to share this time with you, and your honors and accomplishments are staggering. They are definitely something you should celebrate. Pursuit of excellence is vital to your future and the future of the world, but unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. Achieving excellence may tell us that we have found our gifts, but honor that is limited to self-preservation will fade.”
Life, Curry said, is filled with choices that must be made but are not always easy.
“Discerning God’s will is often slow, vague and confusing,” she said. “It is not easy to see the big picture and sometimes I don’t. That’s where faith begins. Even a choice I call right can be painful and revealed to me one small step at a time. Sometimes discerning the wisdom of a choice is clear only in hindsight, but my faith tells me that even in wrong decisions, God is with us. God is working to bless us even when we feel lost, weak, afraid or even dumb. God cares more about the kind of person I’m becoming than the particular circumstance I’m choosing. Almighty God never stops trying to reach us to bring us through the open door that leads to life and love. Whatever our story, God has our best interest at heart.”
Dr. Curry said human beings were created for worship.
“It is unavoidable. We will all worship something,” she said. “How you decide to use the gifts God has given you is between you and your Creator. Making choices is always a mysterious mix of grace and will. Each one of you is a unique, unrepeatable miracle, and your life is a gift, not a possession. God wants you to become the very best version of yourself, and that will always happen only in the service to something greater than yourself. Whatever you choose, big or small, may God’s blessing be on you.”
Dr. Curry served as president of the Montgomery Campus from 1991 to 1999 and was the first woman to lead a four-year university in the state. During her tenure as president, she led the creation, planning, development and establishment of the University’s Rosa Parks Museum and Library, which is located on the Montgomery Campus at the site of Mrs. Parks’ historic 1955 arrest. She also served as dean of the University’s School of Nursing from 1990 to 1991.
Monday’s convocation honored TROY students for their academic achievements, including those inducted into various honor societies. Also among the awards presented during the convocation were the Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching, the Faculty Senate Excellence Award, the Teresa Penn Rodgers Excellence in Student Advising Award and the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Awards.