By Dr. George Acquaah
As part of the 2nd Annual Celebration of Excellence event held by the College of Arts and Sciences at BSU on April 30, I had the privilege, as Dean, to bring brief remarks to the audience. Among several specific comments, I remarked that, whereas we love to have students come to BSU, we are even happier to see them leave! Though it was meant to be funny, I meant every word of it. We love to have students come to Bowie State for their education, because we have dedicated faculty, staff and training facilities to prepare them for life in a competitive world. I further remarked that we don't want students to spend more time at Bowie State than needed, preferably no more than four years. Keeping students on campus is of little use to us; we want them out in the world, contributing to the betterment of society, using all the knowledge, skills and ethics they acquire during the period of their training.
On May 21, we will be saying a formal goodbye to another group of well-prepared graduates. The ceremony, called a commencement, literarily marks the beginning of a new chapter in the life of the graduate. Alas, the one time student now becomes an alumnus or alumna of BSU. Was the time spent at BSU worth it? Well, the graduate and the employer will be the best judges. Of course, we are always eager to improve our student preparation, and therefore are always pleased to have feedback from graduates and employers.
Hopefully, you have already found a job. Congratulations! If you do not have a job yet, do not lose hope. Keep searching, and also consider going to graduate school. The job market is still ‘soft,' and so pursuing graduate education may be a wise way of beefing up your resume while you wait for employers to start hiring again at the normal rate. In pursuing graduate education, you may find it necessary to deviate from your baccalaureate program, in accordance with the trends on the job market. Sometimes, an associate graduate degree may be what you need to complement your undergraduate degree.
No one succeeds alone! We receive help along the journey through life, from both seen and unseen sources. On graduation day, please take a moment to say thank you to family members, friends, teachers, and all others from whom you received help during your time at BSU. As an institution, we depend on alumni support to help us continue to improve our facilities and educational programs to become a more competitive institution of higher education. We look forward to your support.
Remember, excellence is not a destination but an unending journey! You must continue to excel on the job and in all your endeavors. Do not hesitate to ask for help when you need it. I wish you all the very best as you journey on in life. It was my pleasure to have conversed with you over the period the opportunity to do so lasted. I'd love to hear from you as often as possible. Until then, this is Dr. G wishing you congratulations and God's speed!