Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Class of 2024 Graduates With ‘Permission to Dream’

Chris+Gardner+gave+the+keynote+at+the+Spring+2024+Commencement.
Courtesy of @marshallu on Instagram
Chris Gardner gave the keynote at the Spring 2024 Commencement.

Marshall’s newest graduates should have ambition as they begin their futures, said the keynote speaker of the university’s 2024 Spring Commencement on Saturday, April 27.

“What could be needs to be as much a part of the conversation as what cannot be,” said Chris Gardner, entrepreneur and The New York Times bestselling author.

The commencement took place at the Marshall Health Network Arena in Huntington in two ceremonies, one at 9 a.m. and another at 2 p.m, recognizing undergraduate, graduate and doctoral students in their respective colleges to award them for their achievements.

During his speech, Gardner presented the idea of the “permission to dream,” a reference to his 2021 book by the same name. He used his own family as an example on what the “permission to dream” can lead to. 

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Gardner said he was the first person in his family to not pick cotton. He then addressed first generation college graduates by saying, “My children, who went on like many of you, to be the first people in the history of our family to attend college.”

Gardner also signed 1400 copies of his book “Permission to Dream” as a gift to every member of the Spring 2024 graduating class. 

Student Body President Walker Tatum also shared thoughts of appreciation with his graduating class. He acknowledged the university, his fellow graduates, his family and those family members and friends in the audience. 

“These Marshall moments are going to stick with us for many years to come,” Tatum said. 

Those who missed the in-person ceremonies can find live streams for both on Marshall’s website.

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