Two commencement ceremonies at the Thomas Convocation Center saw Louisiana Tech University award 1,040 degrees to members of the Tech family and expand its total number of graduates worldwide to 112,907.
Congresswoman Julia Lelow was the keynote speaker at the 9:30 a.m. ceremony and addressed graduates of the Colleges of Applied and Natural Sciences, Business and Education. Lelou represents Louisiana’s 5th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives, and she is both Louisiana’s first Republican woman elected to Congress and the first woman to represent Louisiana in the House of Representatives in 30 years.
Another message to the graduates was “Choose Happiness.”
Another said, “Although happiness is a feeling, happiness is a real state of being.” “And here’s the best part of this strategy: it’s possible to consistently find happiness even when you don’t always feel happy.”
The congresswoman explained how to follow this philosophy after experiencing grief and loss throughout her life.
“When you go through one of those valleys in life you feel like all the joy is gone, one way to bring it back is to get outside of yourself and serve other people.” When you are able to step outside of yourself and serve others, your life will have meaning and ultimately happiness.
Congressman Mike Johnson gave the opening remarks at the 2:30 p.m. College of Engineering and Science and Liberal Arts ceremony. Johnson is serving his fourth term in the US House of Representatives representing the state’s 4th district.
Referring to another speech that day, Johnson said his speech had its own theme: “Follow the truth.”
“Choosing happiness and following truth are very important to each of us today,” Johnson said.
The congressman’s address drew attention to the state of the world, and Johnson was quick to emphasize that the graduates’ education will help them persevere through difficult times.
He said, “No matter how dark the sky is, you can let your light shine through all that darkness.” “And you can help prove that virtue and love and bravery and loyalty and charity are still possible.”
He also graduated in 1987 with a degree in electrical engineering, and current CEO of Radiance Technologies, William “Bill” Bailey, is a member of the university’s Distinguished Alumni Hall and recipient of the new Tower Medal Award. Awarded to graduates who have distinguished themselves through exceptional achievement, community service and humanitarian efforts at Louisiana Tech.