VSU students, faculty, staff and other members of the Valdosta community joined together last Thursday night in celebration of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as “The Next Food Network Star” 2008 season four winner, Aaron McCargo Jr., spoke as this year’s guest speaker.
The annual commemorative celebration was held in the University Center Magnolia room where guests were welcomed by the master and mistress of ceremonies, Brandon Mainer and Nikki Forman followed by a performance from the VSU Mass Choir.
VSU First Lady Maureen Schloss gave greetings on behalf of President Patrick J. Schloss explaining what the event and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. meant to the both of them.
“This celebration is a reminder to turn his vision and his ideas into a reality,” Schloss, said.
McCargo then spoke about his challenges of getting where he is today as well as enlightening the audience to continue to keep the spirit of Dr. King by continuing to pursue their aspirations through it all.
He opened up expressing that he was going to keep it real during his speech and if anyone was against that, they should leave.
“It’s not about titles, it’s where you come from,” McCargo said.
McCargo then gave the audience history about his childhood by sharing stories and encouraging everyone with some of his key points he learned so far in life.
“You have to be passionate about what you do, stick with your passion,” McCargo said. “You have to believe in yourself every day, stop making excuses and do it.”
As McCargo continued with his inspirations, he noticed an audience member who was moved by his speech, stopping to give them a hug and some words of empowerment in the middle of his speech.
VSU’s Ernest Duncan, Chef for Sodexo, Inc., presented McCargo with a gift as thanks from President Schloss and the university soon after the speech as well as sharing a few inspiring words to the audience about his passion.
“It’s nothing like cooking, it’s indescribable,” Duncan said. “I’ve been at VSU for 41 years and I love it.
Some student organizations shared what the annual program meant to them.
“The program tonight was a reminder of how far we have come,” said Desiree Baker, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. “We owe our success to those that have made the ultimate sacrifice in the name of equality,”
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