Southern University graduates push through pandemic, ready for real world in 2021

Southern University graduates push through pandemic, ready for real world in 2021

BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - It was quite the special day for 450 graduates of The Southern University and their families at A.W. Mumford Stadium.

They are now ready to enter the real world that’s got a lot of questions as to what 2021 will bring.

Who knew that we would ever take celebrations like graduations for granted? Coronavirus has shifted the school year for students across the country, and that includes the graduating seniors of Southern University.

“Today graduates, is an affirmation that literally nothing would stop you in your dreams, even a challenge of global proportions could not stop you,” said Dr. Kim Hunter Reed, Louisiana’s Commissioner of Higher Education.

But through the tough times, came hope for these students to finish strong, make their parents proud, and find their place in this sometimes-confusing world.

“I’m just thankful to know that I was able to adjust and have the support along the way,” said Tony Payne, a Southern graduate.

Students like Tony Payne, he’s graduating with a focus in elementary and special education and has already got a job as a teacher in West Baton Rouge out of college.

“What I’ve always aspired to be is a teacher. I’ve always aspired to be an educator, so I just feel like me setting goals for myself and continuing to meet my goals is one of the main things I’m striving to do. I also want to make the people around me happy,” said Payne.

Southern University graduation
Southern University graduation (Source: WAFB)

Payne looking to leave a lasting impact on this world.

That’s just like Valerie Wilson, who is a graduate in political science at Southern.

“Unfortunately, the spring graduating class couldn’t have that moment. And I think for us to have that moment, it solidified a lot of things for people that their family got to see them. They got to actually live in that moment that every other college graduate got to live in,” said Wilson.

Southern University graduation
Southern University graduation (Source: WAFB)

And if you’ve ever doubted the tenacity of these 2020 graduates, they have weathered the storm, and have come out on top. And their futures are brighter than ever.

“I think it shows an example of when you work really hard and you really go for your goals, they are achievable, regardless of the circumstances. Just keep that good faith and keep that good hope, you can achieve what you set your mind up to do,” said Wilson.

WAFB would like to congratulate all the graduates of Southern University, Class of 2020!

Click here to report a typo.

Copyright 2020 WAFB. All rights reserved.