MONTGOMERY—U.S. Rep. Martha Roby encouraged Troy University graduates to be open to the call of public service as they move into the next phase of their lives.
Roby delivered the keynote address during the spring commencement ceremony for the Montgomery Campus on Monday, May 16, inside the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts. About 180 students received graduate and undergraduate degrees during the 7 p.m. ceremony.
Roby said public service comes in many forms beyond serving in elected office. It can mean serving in church, civic organizations or volunteering in the community.
"I submit to you that public service is something beyond charity," Roby said. "It is a selfless dedication to the betterment of our community, our state and our nation. Public service, I believe, is an essential part of American life and it meets a critical need in our society."
Roby urged the graduates to keep their options open, because the call to service may come when they least expect it.
"Everyone in this room has a plan," Roby said. "Your eyes are on the prize, and understandably so … but I ask you to keep your eyes open. I urge you to be willing, in heart and mind, to recognize when you are called in a different direction."
Roby challenged graduates to be open to the call because "our civic institutions are only as good as the people who serve."
"Do not wait, for too often youth is wasted on the young," Roby said.
A native of Montgomery and former member of the Montgomery City Council, Roby was elected in November 2010 to represent Alabama's 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.