Congratulations to the Class of 2020

This weekend was supposed to be commencement for Southeast Missouri State University. Area high schools also planned their own ceremonies this month. COVID-19 has changed those plans.

Southeast graduates will have to wait to celebrate this milestone in cap and gown, while area high schools will hold virtual ceremonies for now with hopes of hosting commencement ceremonies this summer.

During graduation season each year this space is used to congratulate students, wish them well in their future endeavors, and ask each graduate to thank the people who stood behind him. All of this still holds true. But there's another message for the Class of 2020.

Missing or rescheduling a commencement is nothing to dismiss. But life is full of challenges. How you respond will make the difference. As the psalmist said: "Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy cometh in the morning." (Psalm 30:5)

Commit yourself to greatness. You can't control the results, but you can control your efforts. We are not entitled to a life of ease, but we live in the land of freedom where hard work pays off and people can achieve success.

Finally, consider how you can help others as you move forward. Making money can be good. But help others along the way. Volunteer. Offer words of encouragement. Use your education in ways that make an impact in our world.

Congratulations, Class of 2020. We wish you all the best.