Title: AU presents 450 degrees
Indiana's First Lady Judy O'Bannon urged members of the 2001 graduating class of Anderson University to become servant leaders. O'Bannon gave the commencement address on Saturday as AU presented degrees to 450 students who were members of the school's 83rd graduating class. "This is a wonderful day for all of us to celebrate what we can do together," she said. "This is a day of reaching a goal."
O'Bannon asked the question of the graduates, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" and said we live in a rapidly changing world. She said 84 percent of the businesses that were flourishing a century ago are no longer in business.
"Change is all around us," she said. "Change is all about technology. People say we live in virtual communities in cyberspace, but we also live in real communities.
"The real question is what kind of human being are you going to be when you grow up," said O'Bannon. "We know you've been educated for knowledge, but on top and all around all those skills are your spiritual relationship."
She said people receive training for living and training to be members of a civil society. O'Bannon said AU is the natural place for the state to house the Center for Character Education.
"We all need to find a meaning in life," continued O'Bannon. "There is a need for a new kind of leadership that creates a climate for a civil society."
She said graduates will have to determine how to use technology in a way that serves human needs in the future.
"There is something beyond yourself that gives live meaning," said O'Bannon. "Change is scary and we can draw back and choose not to participate. I don't think your going to do that. Be those servant leaders.
"I'm not talking about someone who does a good deed once a month and then returns to the security of their homes," she said. "Be there to give people a boost up to allow them to participate."
O'Bannon said everyone in society has needs, and it's our diversity that allows people to interact and help each other.
"With your diploma you can take God's hand and put down footprints that your grandchildren can be proud of," she said. "Thank you for making Indiana a wonderful place."
Ken de la Bastide is the senior reporter for the Anderson Herald-Bulletin .