JACKSON, Tenn. – May 22, 2006 – Graduation from college does not mean a freedom from requirements in life, Paul Corts told a group of nearly 400 Union University graduates at their commencement service May 20 on the university’s Great Lawn.
“Most of you graduates probably thought that with commencement you find yourself free from having to worry about fulfilling requirements,” Corts said. “Your time at a great Christian university like Union has been preparing you to live your life in accord with God’s requirements for you. As the Scripture has reminded us, to whom much is given, much is required.”
Corts is the newly elected president of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and will assume that role in June. He has served as assistant attorney general for administration for the U.S. Department of Justice since 2002 and previously was president of Palm Beach Atlantic University for nearly 12 years.
Using a text from the biblical book of Micah, Corts told graduates they were required to do three things: do justice, love mercy and walk humbly.
Corts cited statistics to give graduates a glimpse of the world in which they live. For example, 2.2 million people in the United States are in prison, while 27 million people around the world live in some form of slavery.
“The world needs a fresh touch, a new infusion of mercy,” Corts said. “Put into action what you’ve been taught here. Follow in the footsteps of Jesus.”
Following his address, Corts was inducted as a fellow for Union’s Carl F. H. Henry Center for Christian Leadership.
Political science major Josh Dougan, of Gadsden, Tenn., received the Elizabeth Tigrett Medal from Union. The award, created by Tigrett’s son to honor his mother, has been awarded since 1912 by vote of the entire Union faculty to an outstanding member of the senior class.
The rain-shortened service saw 400 students receive their degrees, bringing to nearly 900 the number of Union University graduates for the 2005-2006 academic year.
“It was one of the most memorable commencement services in the history of Union University,” Union President David S. Dockery said. “We salute the graduates of the class of 2006 for what they’ve accomplished in the past, and look forward to what they will do in the future.”