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Future NSU Graduates Participate in Senior Toast

(NSU NEWSROOM---Dec. 13, 2013)--As Aaron McCracken raised a glass of ginger ale during a ceremony this week in the Norfolk State University Student Center, he briefly reflected on his path and how it would be one of his final acts as a student on campus.

The 22-year-old said he thought about the person he was as a freshman, and now, as a soon-to-be graduate. The Hampton native said the accomplishment is significant because he will be the first person in his family to graduate from college.

“This means a lot,” McCracken said. “The one thing I learned from being a student here is to always strive and to never stop.”

McCracken, who plans to attend graduate school next year to study speech pathology, was one of the 130-plus NSU students and 200 visitors who attended a Senior Toast at the University in advance of the NSU fall commencement ceremony on Saturday, Dec. 14. More than 400 students are expected to earn bachelor’s or advanced degrees at Joseph G. Echols Hall beginning at 9:30 a.m.Senior-Toast-2.jpg

Dr. Sandra J. DeLoatch, provost and vice president of academic affairs at NSU, called for students to always remember the moment when they completed their degrees, and to use it as motivation so they can accomplish future goals they set for themselves.

“You should be confident in knowing that Norfolk State University has prepared you well and that you can proudly take your place among the Spartans who have come before you.

“You have been imbued with the knowledge, skills and abilities to meet the challenges of the world and to overcome them with intellect and determination,” DeLoatch said.

Other students also agreed the moment was special.

Teresa McBayne, 22, of Prince George’s County, Md., said she feels complete now that she will be a college graduate. McBayne, an interdisciplinary studies major, already has a job lined up and will work as a teacher at a private elementary school in her hometown.

“This moment means everything,” McBayne said. “I’ve wanted to be a teacher since I was five years old. I feel Norfolk State has prepared me to be a great teacher.”

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