Supreme Court of Kentucky Justice Advises Graduates to Mind their Reputations, Manners, and Work Ethic to Find Success


On Tuesday, May 27th, the educational achievements of graduates from the $$Florence Campus were celebrated during a commencement ceremony which was held at The Florentine Event Center.  After stoically entering the venue to the traditional chords of "Pomp and Circumstance," the graduates were urged by campus director Amy Brown to set aside the questions that they had about the future and to savor each moment of the important milestone in their lives.

Justice Michelle M. Keller, Supreme Court Justice for the 6th Appellate District, congratulated the graduates and said that she was honored to serve as their commencement speaker.  She began her address by quoting President Abraham Lincoln who said “I will study and get read, and perhaps my chance will come.”

“Abraham Lincoln’s chance certainly came, and you have studied, you are ready, and your chance will come,” she assured them. 

[img]She applauded the graduates for earning their degrees while overcoming obstacles such as economic factors, health issues, and while serving their country. “I do know what you’ve been through,” said Justice Keller.  “My path has been similar in many ways, and tonight we can share the mutual satisfaction of having met those challenges and having conquered them.”

She advised the graduates to mind their reputations, their manners, and their work ethic in order to find success in their careers. “This may seem like the end of the journey, but it’s really the beginning of a new and exciting one,” said Justice Keller.  “You will be presented with numerous opportunities to leave your mark and make a difference.  You are the future, and you are the future at work, and the future waiting to happen.  I can’t wait to see what you all do next.”

Following Justice Keller’s address, a number of graduates received awards for outstanding academic achievement. The E. M. Coulter Award was given to Krista Bryl; the Mary P. McGurn Award to Courtney Good; the Joseph E. Hurn Award to Judith M. Carpenter; and the M.A. Smythe Award to Amanda Hamms. 

Kenneth Huff, a retired veteran of the U.S. Army, was the recipient of the Achievement Award, which is given to a graduate who overcame obstacles to achieve success in their studies.  Fatou Souare, a native of Senegal, who served as a federal work-study student at the campus, and was an active member of the Student Activities Committee, was presented with the Leadership Award.

Another highlight of the evening was the Alumni Hall of Achievement Award which was presented to Ben Horgan, a 2003 graduate of the business administration-management program, who works as a project manager for the City of Florence. Ben was featured in the January 14, 2014 issue of the National News:  Ben was featured in the January 14, 2014 issue of the National News:

Following the presentation of the awards, the graduates each proudly accepted their diplomas and medical students were pinned by their program director. 

In addition to the graduates of the $$Florence Campus who received their diplomas during the ceremony, Stephen Sally, who earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration-management through American National University Online also participated.  “I never missed a beat,” Stephen said of the transition from the associate’s degree program, which he completed at the $$Florence Campus, into the online program. “I want to get into the workforce and put [to use] all this knowledge that I have…”  Read more about Stephen's experience at American National University and ANU Online here:;s-Degree-Online-20120821-0542

Reina Lebron and her daughter Keishla Lebron, natives of the Virgin Islands, were excited to participate in the commencement ceremony together. Reina earned her degree in information systems engineering, and Keishla earned hers in the office technology program.  Keishla said that she came to National after hearing about the great experience that her mother had at the school.  “I feel very accomplished for this and very excited,” Keishla said.

A-Commencement speaker Supreme Court of Kentucky Justice Michelle M. Keller told the $$Florence Campus graduates that they are "the future waiting to happen" during her address.

B-Veterans graduates at each American National University Campus proudly wear red, white, and blue cords as part of their graduation regalia.  Shown left to right:  $$Florence Campus graduates Jerry Marshall, Stephen Sally and Kenneth Huff and student services representative Jason Stewart.


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