TROY - Troy University graduate student Mac-Jane Chukwu of Lagos, Nigeria, encouraged her fellow graduates to devote themselves to the service of others, dream big and make the most of every moment.
Chukwu, who received her Master of Science degree in international relations with a focus in national security affairs, delivered the keynote address during Friday's commencement ceremony inside Trojan Arena on the Troy Campus.
More than 880 students, representing 30 states and 14 countries, received degrees during the spring commencement.
"To my fellow graduates I am proud to say: We made it," she said. "I chose to come to Troy University because it represented the kind of community of which I wanted to be a part. I felt it was the perfect place for me. It was the right decision and one that has served me well as I plan to go on to pursue a Ph.D."
Chukwu encouraged students to discover the joy of serving others.
"I challenge you to find ways to be of service to others," she said. "It takes serving others to truly make a difference."
Chukwu also encouraged her fellow graduates to dream big and strive for excellence.
"I was never afraid to dream big, and when I arrived at TROY, I challenged myself to strive for heights that would have previously seemed unreachable," she said. "So today, I say to you: Dream big. Perfection is unattainable because we live in an imperfect world. However, pursue excellence in whatever career path you pursue. Enjoy every second of life because each moment is a gift."
Chukwu, the author of "Open Secret" and "My Father's Girlfriend," was named TROY's Most Outstanding Woman for 2015. With a background in media production with Ficomms International, Chukwu founded the Lagos-based Tower of Hope Tea Club, a foundation to help troubled street girls. At TROY, she is executive vice president of the International Student Cultural Organization, and has been a graduate assistant in the Office of Career Services. She has also served as an officer of the Troy African Students Association and played an instrumental role in the University's International Women's Forum.