Columbus Tech president challenges, inspires TROY grads

Posted: Saturday, 25 May 2013

COLUMBUS, Ga. — The president of Columbus Technical College, J. Robert Jones, told Troy University graduates Friday night that life is not easy, or fair, but education can help them overcome challenges.

Jones delivered the keynote address during a joint commencement ceremony for the Phenix City Campus and the Columbus/Fort Benning Site on Friday, May 24, at the Columbus Civic Center. Some 314 students earned degrees this spring in Phenix City and Columbus/Fort Benning.

"When you were born, no one promised you an easy life," Jones said.

Life will throw you curves and obstacles, but the key is to learn from mistakes and pick yourself up from failures, Jones said.

"No matter what you do in life, there are consequences to your actions," Jones said. "You can't undo your mistakes, but you can learn from them."

There is no formula for easy success, but Jones challenged graduates to rely on their education and skills to overcome challenges.

"Life works great in theory, but you have to know how to think for yourself when the theory fails and the formula changes," he said.

As newly minted leaders, Jones challenged graduates to ask questions and innovate.

"Challenge the status quo," he said. "If you don't do that, we will never move forward."

Jones has been president of Columbus Technical College since 1999. His tenure has seen a threefold growth in enrollment, an expanded campus and a host of new degrees and programs in high growth areas.

J. Robert Jones, the president of Columbus Technical College, addresses Troy University graduates during a joint commencement ceremony for the Phenix City Campus and the Columbus/Fort Benning Site on Friday, May 24, at the Columbus Civic Center. (TROY photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)