Alabama Rep. Jeff Sorrells told more than 170 Troy University graduates Sunday to embrace change but remain true to themselves.
Sorrells spoke to the graduates during spring commencement exercises for the University’s Dothan Campus, which took place at the Dothan Civic Center.
“Things change,” said Sorrells, who represents District 87. “You have to remember to embrace that change but also to never forget who you are. When difficult decisions have to be made, always look back to yourself for those decisions. I promise if you educate yourself before making these decisions and do what you feel is right, you will always be able to defend those decisions.”
Sorrells, who is a Troy University Dothan Campus alum and the former mayor of Hartford, also assured students that challenging times will arise.
“Life is not easy,” he said. “Anybody who tells you otherwise is living in a dream world. Difficult times will come – some will be small, some will be great. Some of you have experienced these times already. The manner in which you fought through and fight through them is going to make you stronger, I assure you.
Sorrells recounted his decision to drop out of college and, then, his subsequent decision to return to finish his degree.
“It was the greatest thing that I could have done,” he said.
Calling on his faith, Sorrells also told the graduates to keep God in their lives.
“If you keep God in the center of your life, two things are going to happen,” he said. “First, you’re going to have a heart for people. Second, you’re going to see relationships develop. They will help you to grow, and they will help you in life.”
Sorrells currently serves as vice president of lending with the First National Bank of Hartford.
He served as the mayor for the City of Hartford from 2008 to 2018 and as a council member from 2000 to 2004.
He is also a past board member of the Geneva County Gas Board from 2008 to 2018, the Wiregrass Economic Development Corporation from 2008 to 2018, the Southeast Alabama Regional Council on Aging and Southeast Alabama Regional Planning and Development.