Chief Justice: Graduates need timeless virtues to survive tough times

Posted: Friday, 12 December 2008

TROY—The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Alabama told Troy University graduates Friday that they will need to exhibit the virtues of their “greatest generation” ancestors to cope with tough economic times.

Justice Sue Bell Cobb spoke Friday at fall commencement ceremonies in Sartain Hall on the Troy Campus. Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor, presented diplomas to 350 graduates from 16 U.S. states and 12 other nations at the ceremony.

“A large number of folks are struggling to deal with the changes in the economy and companies are laying people off,” Cobb said. “But that is not where this story ends; this is where it begins.”

Justice Cobb urged the graduates to adopt the traits of their grandparents, who survived the twin challenges of the Great Depression of the 1930s, followed by World War II, dubbed “The Greatest Generation” by author-journalist Tom Brokaw. She told students they would need to be persistent, creative, efficient and tenacious to excel during trying times.

In addition, Cobb said, graduates need to cultivate an “attitude of gratitude.”

“There is a flip side to these challenges,” she said. “Have you noticed how quickly ‘me’ has turned to ‘we’ during these times?”

Cobb recalled lessons learned from her late father, Otis Bell, who supported and encouraged her during her career as a district and appellate judge. She encouraged students to emulate her father’s generosity toward others in living their lives.

Cobb, a native of Evergreen, was elected Chief Justice in 2007 after having been elected to the Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals in 1994. In 1981, she became one of the state’s youngest judges when she was appointed District Court Judge of Conecuh County, a position to which she was elected in 1982 and re-elected in 1988. She and her husband, Bill, have three children.


Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb told some 350 Troy University graduates they would need the values of "the greatest generation" to be successful during commencement exercises on the Troy Campus Friday. (TROY photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)