Nearly 100 Kentucky State University graduates crossed the stage Friday, December 14 during the 2018 Fall Commencement Convocation in Carl H. Smith Auditorium in David H. Bradford Hall.

Environmentalists, computer scientists, artists, mathematicians, biologists and future leaders of all kinds now go forth from the University, ready for the next level of success.

United States Senator and businessman Timothy Eugene Scott, who received the Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree from Kentucky State, delivered the commencement address.

Scott offered the fall class of 2018 three pieces of advice.

“Failure is not fatal if you refuse to quit,” Scott said. “If you refuse to quit on yourself, the best will manifest before your eyes.”

Scott also encouraged the graduates to help others.

“Sometimes in life if you want to stand out, stand up for people who can’t stand up for themselves,” Scott said. “

Finally, Scott encouraged graduates to hold on to their dreams.

“You have to be willing to go through the storm holding on to your dreams,” Scott said.

Jessica Marquez Cordova, valedictorian, spoke about overcoming obstacles to reach graduation.

Cordova was diagnosed with Bell’s palsy in her first semester, which resulted in hospitalization and withdrawing from school. Cordova’s goal when she returned was to finish school early. Taking up to 24 hours each semester, she achieved her goal.

“We all have hardships to overcome,” Cordova said. “It doesn’t matter how long it takes, it matters that you finish.”

Cordova encouraged graduates to never stop growing and learning.

“Our next adventure begins today,” Cordova said. “Onward. Upward. Forward.”

President Brown announced interesting facts about the fall class of 2018: the class is comprised of students from 15 states and three foreign countries, the average age is 28, the youngest graduate is 21 and the oldest graduate – Arthur McKee Jr. – is 67 years old.

Student Government Association President Michael N. Weaver Jr. congratulated the graduates and encouraged them to live their best life the right way.

“Don’t go back and forth with people holding you back from reaching your goals,” Weaver said. “Let those people go. Live your best life so you can look back and say job well done.”

Musical guest and BET’s Sunday Best Season 8 winner Dathan Thigpen brought the house down with musical selections “We Offer Praise” and “My Tribute.”

President Brown gave each graduate their first $2 as “For the Love of Money” by The O’Jays filled the William Exum Center gymnasium. Graduates reacted with laughter and excitement.