On Saturday, approximately 400 of them participated in SPSU’s 103rd commencement in the university gymnasium. Cobb Chamber of Commerce President and CEO David Connell delivered the commencement address at the morning and afternoon ceremonies.
The address was titled, “Attitude, A Significant Ingredient of Success.”
During his business career, Connell said he learned that personal attitude is related to success and that some of the nation’s top companies often “hire for attitude and train for skills.”
“During my 40-year career, at least 20 years of it, I had the opportunity to hire a lot of people, promote people and unfortunately had to fire people,” Connell said.
“I have never, never hired somebody with a bad attitude. I have never, never promoted somebody with a bad attitude. So if you’re interested in a long-term career, that’s something you need to maintain.”
Before joining the Cobb Chamber in November 2010, Connell served as the region executive for Georgia Power’s Metro West region. He was associated with Georgia Power’s parent company, Southern Company, and its subsidiaries for 40 years.
As head of the Cobb Chamber, Connell is tasked with helping to strengthen the county’s economy for its more than 45,000 businesses and over 700,000 residents.
SPSU President Dr. Lisa Rossbacher said Connell was a good choice as commencement speaker because Georgia Power has traditionally been among the top three employers of SPSU graduates.
“Today’s speaker is playing an important role in the economic health of this area and ensuring that our graduates have jobs in which they can make meaningful contributions to society,” she told the audience.
“He hopes you’re all going to stay in Cobb County to do that.”
SPSU’s class of May 2012 represented 18 states and 36 countries, including 62 graduates from China. The graduates ranged in age from 20 to 67, 46 percent had a grade point average of 3.0 or higher, and 80 percent of them received bachelor degrees on Saturday. The university also awarded its first degrees in civil and electrical engineering.
Among the graduates were chemistry majors and identical twins Joshua and Isaiah Gober of Flowery Branch. For their identical 4.0 GPAs, they were awarded the President’s Distinguished Scholar Award, which is presented to the graduate with the highest grade point average. It was the first time in memory that two people received the award, said Rossabacher.
Willis Potts, a University System of Georgia regent who oversees the congressional district in which SPSU is located, told the graduates that their SPSU degrees with give them some strong advantages in today’s competitive job market.
“Your opportunity will be as limitless as the problem you currently face, which you will solve,” he said.