TROY - Alabama Superintendent of Education Dr. Tommy Bice encouraged Troy University graduates to pursue their own direction in life during Friday's fall commencement ceremonies at Trojan Arena on the Troy Campus.
About 440 students received degrees this fall, including students from 20 U.S. states and 14 nations outside the United States.
"As you leave here, throw away your store-bought map and create your own path," Dr. Bice said. "Don't let the noise of others' opinions drown out your voice."
Dr. Bice encouraged the graduates not to shy away from taking risks.
"For right now, learn to risk. If you don't do it now, you won't do it," he said. "As you make mistakes, and you will, learn from them and move on. I don't want students to worry about the question – ‘Will I find my passion?' You will not find your passion; your passion will find you. You must relax and be willing to wait for it. Your life is your legacy, and I encourage you to make the most of each day."
Dr. Bice was appointed Alabama's State Superintendent of Education in November 2011. Prior to his appointment, he served as Deputy State Superintendent of Education for Instructional Services. Dr. Bice has also been Superintendent of the Alexander City School System, a high school principal, a career tech director, an alternative school teacher and director, a special education teacher and residential school director, and an early childhood teacher and parent trainer, and began his career as a teacher at the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind. He serves as an adjunct professor of Educational Leadership at Auburn University.