Graduate students receive advice from King’s Academy President Walter Grubb

Walter Grubb, president of The King’s Academy addresses members of the Class of 2013 during Carson-Newman University’s Spring Graduate Commencement.

Walter Grubb, president of The King’s Academy addresses members of the Class of 2013 during Carson-Newman University’s Spring Graduate Commencement.

Seventy-one graduate students received their degrees Friday evening during Carson-Newman University’s Spring Graduate Commencement. The event followed C-N’s undergraduate commencement earlier that morning.

As members of the first class to graduate from C-N since it changed its name to “University,” each graduate received a gold coin with the Carson-Newman College seal on one side and the new University seal on the other.

“You are the only graduating class in the history of this great institution to graduate both from Carson-Newman College, where you did your work, and from Carson-Newman University, where you will receive your degree,” said C-N President Randall O’Brien.

Walter Grubb, president and headmaster of The King’s Academy, delivered the commencement address after being presented with the honorary Doctor of Letters degree, from O’Brien and Executive Vice President and Provost Kina Mallard.

Speaking to graduates, Grubb recounted how his father became a Carson-Newman alumnus.

“As a high school dropout, he came to the academy where I now work with 16 or 17-year-old students,” Grubb said. His father earned his high school diploma and went on to study at C-N, where he graduated 49 years ago.

“I saw my father graduate from high school, college and seminary,” Grubb said, adding, “Truth be known, we all sit in the shade of trees planted long ago.

“I know there is nothing I have accomplished alone and certainly nothing apart from the grace of God,” shared Grubb. “I stand on the shoulders of many who opened doors and paved roads for me.”

Grubb also shared 17 pieces of advice for the graduating students ranging from practical to inspirational. These included: “Learn a new language,” “Take your vacations,” “Show up.”

“If selling a used car with a broken air conditioner, sell it in the winter,” he smiled.

In closing, Grubb borrowed from comedian Conan O’Brien’s commencement address at Harvard: “As you go, you will take a part of Carson-Newman wherever you go. In a sense, you will never really leave Carson-Newman.”