Jacqueline Screws, president of Chattahoochee Valley Community College, delivers the keynote address at Friday's spring commencement ceremony.
Jacqueline Screws, president of Chattahoochee Valley Community College, challenged Troy University graduates to take great care in the choices they make and encouraged them to follow what she called the elements of success.
Speaking during the joint commencement ceremony for the University’s Phenix City Campus and Columbus/Fort Benning locations on Friday at the Columbus Convention and Trade Center, Screws congratulated students on their choice to obtain a degree. Nearly 125 graduates were recognized during the ceremony.
“The choice you have made to obtain a degree at Troy University is certainly a wise one,” she said. “This decision has the potential to change your life. Now that you have proven that you can reach this milestone, I hope that you will continue along the path of excellence as you go to the next level in your life. While a college education is important in today’s society, what you choose to do with it is even more critical.”
The expectation, Screws said, is for all to become responsible citizens and to make valuable contributions to the world.
“The choices you make are critical and sometimes far reaching. Our choices today can possibly shape our future. I appeal to you to choose the path of progress and success,” she said.
Screws pointed to seven “elements of success” – setting goals, understanding that there will be obstacles to reaching success, clearing the way of “excess baggage,” creating a positive mental outlook, embracing the challenge of learning, staying on track and showing the world that they can achieve.
“You are the master of your future,” she said. “You are the person in charge of the outcome of your life and the decisions you make today can determine your fate. When I look upon this graduating class, I see endless possibilities. You hold the future in the palm of your hand.”
Screws became the sixth president of Chattahoochee Valley Community College on Feb. 1. She has more than 30 years of higher educational experience, working both at the university and community college levels.