TROY—A member of the Alabama Commission on Higher Education told Troy University graduates to keep learning, have faith both in yourself and a higher power to achieve your goals and to serve others.
Ralph Buffkin of Mobile, who has served on the Alabama Commission on Higher Education (ACHE) since 2004, delivered the keynote address Friday at summer commencement ceremonies in Sartain Hall on the Troy Campus. Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor, presented diplomas to about 250 graduates.
“If you are receiving an associate degree get started on your bachelors; if you are receiving a bachelors’ go for your masters and if you are receiving your masters’ go for your doctorate,” Buffkin said. “First you will increase your value—your value in terms of income, but, more importantly, your ability to serve mankind at a higher level.”
Buffkin, who is a graduate of the University of South Alabama, said he was honored to work with TROY to help the University get its first doctoral degree—the Doctorate of Nursing Practice, which required ACHE approval. He said a nurse from Alabama’s Black Belt region inspired him to push for the nursing doctorate because of the difference health-care professionals can make in rural communities.
Buffkin also urged the graduates to have faith “in a power greater than yourself.”
“Serve mankind, reach out with your talents be passionate about helping others and learn from them and learn to respect their views,” he said.
Buffkin is currently Director of Human Resources, Mobile County Sheriff's office. He was owner of Buffkin Management Services, a Mobile consulting firm. He is a former partner in Azalea Capital Leasing and has held management positions with Choctaw Transport and Southern Valve Service Company. The Leadership Mobile graduate is active in the Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce, Mobile Sports Commission, Mobile Works, Mobile Solid Waste Authority, and the United States Sports Academy.