Wednesday, December 18, 2013

'You can change someone's world'

"One is not born into the world to do everything," Henry David Thoreau wrote over 150 years ago, "but to do something.”

Tuesday night Chris Snider exhorted fellow graduates at Germanna Community College's Fall Commencement Tuesday to dedicate themselves to making a difference.

Snider, a 43-year-old aide to U.S. House Majority leader Eric Cantor, went back to school determined to get his degree 25 years after dropping out of the University of Virginia. Snider, a former Culpeper Town Council member, always felt something was missing. Germanna President David A. Sam presented him with an Associates of Arts and Sciences in Business Administration, which he earned while working full-time as Cantor’s district representative in Culpeper.

“Be the change that you envision for the world,” Snider said in his commencement speech. “Allow your ideals to frame your actions. There is no greater testament to your beliefs than to put them into practice through your actions. You may not be able to change the world, but you can change someone’s world. And if you do that, you have changed the world for them.”

Snider was among 591 students who received 988 degrees and certificates.

During the ceremony, Sam recognized Germanna Prof. Rich Gossweiler, who is retiring after 45 years of teaching in the Virginia Community College System. Gossweiler, who teaches at GCC's Locust Grove Campus, received a standing ovation from a crowd of about 2,000.

Mark Ivory, a nurse anesthesist at Mary Washington Hospital, was the graduate speaker. He talked about Germanna’s role in determining his career plans.

“GCC provides the young and the not so young an opportunity to go to school on an affordable budget,” Ivory said. “ I look at the cost of school today and shudder at what it will cost my four kids to go to school. Even though I went to Germanna for six years, a year at GMU and two and a half at VCU/MCV, my total educational expense was only $45,000. During the time I spent becoming an anesthetist, I could have gone to med school. However, I would have had at least $150,000 of debt and at least another three years of a residency. Choosing to go to nursing school at Germanna prepared me for a lucrative job without leaving me with an enormous debt. This is why I have suggested to many young people including my four honor roll children that their plans for their future begin at Germanna.“

1 comment:

Patrick Victor said...

I congratulate him, but his boss, Eric Cantor is an elitist who refuses to meet with his constituents. I thought we were in a democracy and individuals could speak to their representatives. Not Cantor.