One hundred and seventeen Morris College graduates left Sumter County Civic Center inspired on Saturday after a commencement speech from Loretta Lynch, 83rd Attorney General of the United States.
Lynch said she chose to speak at Morris because of …
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Lynch said she chose to speak at Morris because of the school's history and its importance to the black community.
"Morris College is an important place in American history and in black history," she said. "It gives [students] not just history but a path forward."
During her time in college, Lynch said she learned an open mind is one of the most important things to have.
"For me, it was opening up my mind to possibilities that I hadn't known before college," she said.
Some people go to college thinking they have their path set, but college teaches you that the path can go in any direction, Lynch said.
As long as you carry the most important part of yourself with you, she said, you'll always be true to yourself, and you'll be able to accomplish great things.
Lynch said another thing the graduates should carry with them in life is purpose.
After nearly two years of serving as the country's top attorney, Lynch said titles don't come close to the purpose that drives someone to take the job.
"My advice to everyone is not to aim for a particular position but to aim for a particular effect," she said.
You can pursue those titles, sure, but you can be just as effective without them, Lynch said.
Even without a title you will be able to do a lot of things for other people if you have a purpose that is true to you, Lynch said.
A lot of people have titles and high positions but are completely unhappy because they're inconsistent with their personal values or what they want to contribute to the world, she said.
"If you focus on your purpose as opposed to the name of your position you'll always be happy," she said, "you'll always find something rewarding."
During the graduation ceremony, Lynch's speech focused on the graduates learning from history to make progress in their futures.
You are the descendants of the faith of those who fought adversity to found the college, Lynch said.
What you can learn from history about resilience in the face of trying times is an advantage that you can carry with you after graduation, she said.
"You don't have to know right now what you want to do for the rest of your life," Lynch said. "Life is long, and so is your career."
But what you do have to know right now is what kind of person you want to become, she said.
"Your purpose in life is not always self-evident," she said. "I couldn't have told you what mine was when I sat in your chair."
The real lesson in life is that everyone falls down, but it's how you rise up that determines your character, Lynch said.
And the best way to rise up is to lift someone else up with you, she said.
You're soon going to reap the benefits of all your hard work, Lynch said to the graduates.
"It is not the title that you bear but the lives that you touch that will define your contribution to this world," she said. "And that contribution can be great, even if the only thing after your name is a period."
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