COLUMBUS, Miss. – Alumnus and local news anchor Joey Barnes addressed graduates today at Mississippi University for Women’s commencement ceremony.

 Approximately 170 students applied for December graduation. Conferring of degrees for graduates of the College of Arts, Sciences and Education, the College of Business and Professional Studies and the College of Nursing and Health Sciences began at 2 p.m. in Rent Auditorium, Whitfield Hall.

Barnes reminisced about his time on campus. He told of sitting in various classrooms around campus, wishing that he would have listened a little more. Barnes recalled the brotherhood of Beta Kappa Tau, encouraging students to cherish the university and the friends sitting around them.

He imparted wisdom to the soon-to-be graduates by sharing a letter drafted by him and his wife for his very-soon-to-be daughter.

“Your steps will be small, at first, but they’ll grow by leaps and bounds,” said Barnes.

He also warned audience members about “challenging people”—individuals who may be mean, angry and/or complicated. Kindness is the best way to respond to these “challenging individuals” Barnes advised.

“Being kind is not a sign of weakness. Treat everyone the way you’ll want to be treated, but never be taken advantage of.

“Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal and don’t quit until you reach it. Never quit. Just bear down little girl.”

Additionally, Barnes stressed the value of education by sharing words of wisdom from a hitchhiker who Barnes called grandfather.

“An education is something no one can ever take away from you. He should know, he hitchhiked 35 miles each day to get his associates degree when he was a teenager….,” explained Barnes.

To provide himself with humility and the audience with further wisdom, Barnes would quote the Mississippi writer William Faulkner, "What makes a fool is an inability to take even his own good advice."

Lastly, Barnes provided graduates with some final instructions. He said, “The world is yours. Take it by storm. Lift up others and lift up yourselves to higher levels.”

Dec. 15, 2017 
Contact: Tyler Wheat
(662) 241-7863
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