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Appalachian graduates told receiving a college diploma is a call to accomplish great things

D06_12Grad00.jpgBOONE—Almost 1,000 students received degrees from Appalachian State University Dec. 10 during winter commencement held in the Holmes Convocation Center.

But accomplishing that milestone does not mean they can sit back and relax, Lt. Gov. Beverly Perdue told the graduates and their guests.

“You can’t let up one single bit,” she said. “Your success here has taught you that you can do anything you want to do. You can juggle schedules and face incredible challenges. If you do anything less than that as a productive worker in this state, you will be going backwards.”

Perdue said that the state needs educated leaders to keep it moving forward in the global economy.

“Our nation and our state, and you and your families, face a future that has limitless opportunities or limitless challenges. You decide for yourself. ”

She said how they respond to those opportunities will define them for future generations.

“I wonder as I look at you, what this generation will be known as,” she said. “Since America already has the greatest generation, the baby boomer generation and generation X, you might become ‘the’ generation.”

Purdue said the class of 2006 has the education and the moral and intellectual capital to change the world. “If you think about all the challenges that this country faces-China, India, a global economy, immigration-all of the things that you are going to have to face up to and conquer in your life, we really do need for you to be ‘the’ generation,” she said.

Seated among the graduates might be the person to bring about world peace, end poverty in the richest country in the world, or cure cancer, she said.

“Great things happen when ordinary people have the faith and commitment to do extraordinary things,” Perdue said. “Your education today is your call to arms. Making a difference is your duty – purely and simply.”