Tucker tells MVSU Graduates, “It’s your Time.," Vice President Kamala Harris sends video message

May 4, 2024

Mississippi Valley State University alumnus Mr. Archie Tucker, Sr. (’79) had a simple but powerful message for the 2024 graduating class: " It’s your time.”

The Area Director for the Southeast Area of the United States Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service in Stoneville, MS., encouraged Valley graduates Saturday morning during the institution’s 72nd Commencement Exercise and expressed how important it was to be proud to be from The Valley.

"When you leave this campus today, it's your time to go out and make your mark in the world and be proud to be from Mississippi Valley State University,” said Tucker.

The commencement was held at 8 a.m. in the R.W. Harrison Complex, and over 200 students received their degrees and guidance from Tucker.

He offered the graduates two essential values to carry with them as they began a new journey in life, and he explained how MVSU prepared him to be successful professionally.

"There are two things that you can control that will help you be successful in life: your attitude and your effort," he explained. If you can manage and control both of these, you will be successful," he added.

Tucker also shared with students the value of treating each person they meet with dignity and respect.

"It is nice to be recognized as someone important. However, being recognized as nice is more important," Tucker shared.

By earning their degrees, Tucker acknowledged to the graduates that they had made the first steps on a successful path. However, he was prudent in explaining that they would still face challenges after this.

"Life will be hard, but when people throw manure, do as I do and use it as fertilizer to grow and improve. Turn your mistakes into defining moments on your path to success," he added.

Tucker not only guided the graduates in personal growth but also shared valuable information on financial literacy.

"Make good decisions regarding your finances," said Tucker. Pay your bills on time and earn good credit ratings. Remember, you may never have enough money to pay cash for everything you want, but if you have good credit, you can get everything you need," he added.

Tucker told the graduates it was their time to expand the family name.

"Your parents have worked tirelessly to establish a family name; it's your turn to carry that legacy forward. Be mindful of your actions, for they shape your reputation. Your name and reputation are your trademarks, and your smile is your business card," Tucker emphasized. 

Graduates were reminded to always remember MVSU with their love and support and by giving back to the school. Tucker also shared the philosophy of life, which was shared with him by his mentor.

"Keep your thoughts positive because your thoughts become your words; keep your words positive because your words become your actions; keep your actions positive because your actions become your habits; keep your habits positive because your habits become your values; keep your values positive because your values become your destiny,” he shared.  

The ceremony concluded with a special video message for the Valley graduates from United States Vice President Kamala Harris.

Vice President Harris congratulated and celebrated graduates and told them the nation was incredibly proud of them. With her being an HBCU graduate, Harris said the graduates in the video that the country needs them, and they are ready.

"As a proud HBCU graduate, I know first-hand the value of attending an institution like yours. You leave here being taught that you can do and be anything and that you have a duty to be excellent, work to uplift the condition of all people, and fight to protect our most fundamental rights and freedoms," Harris said in her video statement.