Campus News

Alumnus challenges newest graduates to strive for excellence

Summer Commencement 2014-v Abit Massey
Abit Massey

Recent graduates who participated in the summer Commencement ceremony were sent off to the next stage of their lives with wise but simple advice from a man who graduated from UGA more than 60 years ago.

Francis “Abit” Massey, a 1949 graduate and president emeritus of the Georgia Poultry Federation, delivered the Commencement address to graduates Aug. 1 at Stegeman Coliseum.

Massey told the graduates to “expand your horizon; meet more people; read more books; get to know more of the country and the world; stretch your limits; make a difference.”

Approximately 1,380 students-802 undergraduate, 371 master’s and specialist and 207 doctoral candidates-were eligible to walk in the combined ceremony offered to all of the degree candidates.

In his address, Massey offered five key points for graduates to follow in order to take advantage of their time at UGA.

He encouraged them to show gratitude, to remember that “kindness matters,” to strive to reach their full potential, to be persistent and patient and to value the whole team.

“An effective leader is important,” Massey said, “but so is the whole team.”

Massey graduated from UGA with a bachelor’s degree in business administration and has served his alma mater in a variety of capacities since then, including as a former president of the UGA Alumni Association and former trustee of the UGA Foundation.

UGA President Jere W. Morehead welcomed the new graduates to the UGA alumni family and challenged them to be good ambassadors of the university.

“We are loyal, we are devoted, we are proud and we make a difference,” Morehead said.