Last Updated: Mar 31st, 2014 - 14:20:42

300 graduate from VSU
By James Peacemaker, Jr. Managing Editor
Dec 23, 2013, 10:56

JAMES PEACEMAKER JR./HOPEWELL NEWS/NEWS-PATRIOT Around 300 student graduated from Virginia State University on Saturday morning.

CHESTERFIELD — More than 300 students graduated from Virginia State University on Saturday morning at Daniel Gymnasium. Among them was the first graduates of the Reginald F. Lewis College of Business.

Speaking at the ceremony, Judge Jerrauld C. Jones told those in attendance that he wanted them to succeed, not just financially but by making the world a better place.

Jones became one of few people to hold a position in each branch of government.

He served eight terms in the House of Delegates. In 2002, Gov. Mark Warner appointed him as director of the Department of Juvenile Justice for the Commonwealth of Virginia. He currently serves as a judge in Norfolk Circuit Court.

Jones said he had an extreme fondness for Virginia State University
Judge Jerrauld C. Jones speaks at the graduation ceremony.

“My VSU legacy started right here in 1942. It was somewhere out there on these hallowed grounds back in the fall of 1942. ... Back then a young intelligent and very promising young man, then a first-semester college senior, the first in his family to attend college. ... It was then on the front campus that he gazed upon a beautiful petite and also highly intelligent college coed. ... They met here, they dated here, they fell in love here, and yes they were later married, but most importantly they later had me,” he said.

He said if it were not for Virginia State, he would not exist, and that he is greatly in the school’s debt. His mother was in the stands during the ceremony.

“I’ve never felt more of a son of VSU than I do right now,” Jones said.

He reflected back to when he was in college and recalled how it was instilled upon him to not only give back to the school so others could succeed, but to give back to society.

He cited the words on the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., “Every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or in the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, What are you doing for others?”

He wished the graduates great success but he said that success is not measured by money but by positive change in society. He encouraged the graduates to give back to through volunteering and giving financially, and not to forget the institutions that made their success possible.

“Somewhere at the top of that list should be Virginia State University,” Jones said.

He told graduates that their success is made possible through the hard work of those who came before them and that they need to ensure the success of future generations.

“My parents were able to get an education here because of what others gave, and enabled them to have rich and full lives and they generally passed on those warm things to me and my brothers. We build upon the foundation of those before us,” Jones said.

He told the class of 2013 that leaving a lasting impression on the world is not done by acquiring things, but by giving.

“Your true legacy will never be about how much money you made or how many cars you owned or how big your house was or even how many degrees you earned,” Jones said. “Your true legacy is as King rhetorically asked ‘What are you doing for others?’”

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