BETHANY - The 2012 graduates were asked to remember one thing about their time at Bethany College: "The only thing small about Bethany is the town it is in, however, wherever you want to go in your life or career is possible through here."
Sylvan M. Holzer, President of PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, was on hand Saturday to address the graduating class about preparing for a lifetime of achievement and the importance of legacy and appreciation at the college's 172nd Commencement exercises.
"This is a wonderful day for all of you, an end of one great effort and the beginning of another," he explained. "I can feel the electricity and excitement for you. In a time of economic decline, there is also a chance for many opportunities. This country needs a new generation to offer new ideas and to prove what you as new graduates are really worth. Your education at Bethany College has prepared you for that."
KEYNOTE SPEAKER — Sylvan Holzer, President of PNC Bank in Pittsburgh, addressed the 2012 graduates of Bethany College Saturday morning during the 172nd commencement exercises. Holzer spoke to the graduates about achievement and creating a lasting legacy.
He then told the graduates that he "can't help but to be optimistic about your lifetime of achievement."
"When Mr. Fred Rogers was still living he was one of my greatest mentors and I actually served on Mr. Roger's Neighborhood board," he said. "Mr. Rogers always said that often when you think that you are at the end of something, you are really at the beginning of something else. This is the beginning for you.
"Take what you do and the principles that you have learned in college seriously; be bold and take risks but also dream; learn from successes and failures; practice from the highest standards of legal and ethical behavior; and remember that the value is in the journey not just in the final destination."
There is forever a lesson in teamwork, Holzer said.
"Teamwork and caring about others will always make experiences better, especially when it comes to your workplace."
He then addressed the topic of legacies and told the graduates that "what is important is leaving a legacy to coincide with your achievements and your professional development."
"Find atleast one cause that you truly care about and give it your time and resources," he said. "Someone once said, if you want to be happy for an hour, take a nap. But if you want to be happy for a lifetime, help others."
He concluded by telling the graduates to "each take 15 seconds and think about a person that has made you better, that has pushed you beyond your limits and that has supported you the whole way. Life is a series of messages to live and to learn. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors."
Area Bethany graduates are:
Amsterdam - Jacky Michele Marcus.
Bethany - Issam Majed Sawtarie.
Follansbee - Michael Anthony Bonaventura Jr., Alexander Clark Stubbs, Justin Robert Wilkinson.
New Manchester - Robert Justin Lipps.
Paris, Pa. - David Peter Bentrem.
Rayland - Terry Lee Davis Jr.
Steubenville - Ryan Michael Johnson, Jayetee Strupe.
Weirton - Elizabeth Katherine Krinock, Tina M. Rykowski.
Wellsburg - Alexander James Littleton, Morgan Marie Minor, Jacob Michael Nixon.