I love the pomp and circumstance that marks commencement. It's the most important, picture-perfect day in the life of a university. And as a president, it's a great honor to present a diploma, shake hands and congratulate each graduate.
The tradition of commencement, one that spans hundreds of years, has a modern addition: the high-profile speaker. It's an approach I once supported. But my mind changed after becoming president of Ouachita Baptist University in 2016. I learned Ouachita's practice was not having an outside commencement speaker. It's a practice I've come to deeply affirm.
Sells, Ben, "Focus on graduates, not speakers" (2019). Press Releases. 814.