U.S. Rep. Virginia Foxx helped Millennium Charter Academy celebrate its first-ever graduating class on Saturday morning.
The Congresswoman from the Fifth District said she had been a part of Millennium before there was ever a school, so she is proud to be a part of the first commencement.
Picking a topic on which to speak was easy as the school placed a quote from a founding father on the program.
“The preservation of liberty depends on the moral and intellectual character of the people.” — John Adams
“It seems to me that John Adams does not get the credit that he is due for the part he played … in ensuring our success as a nation,” Foxx said. “He wasn’t the most warm and fuzzy guy, but he was determined.”
She commended MCA for its belief in that quote from the second president.
“However in many parts of our culture and nation, this notion has unfortunately been lost today,” she said. “Our founding fathers grasped the importance of a timeless truth: that solid morals are the basis that freedom and liberty stand on.”
She added, “It is exactly the striving for that moral and intellectual excellence that makes Millennium so special and so wonderful.”
The world has changed greatly since the times of the founding fathers, she noted.
“Imagine this: if the last 200,000 years of humanity were a single year, then nearly all the material progress would have arrived in the last 14 hours.” Still, strong character is a backbone of the country.
To the graduates she said, “Don’t be surprised if your morals are called into question once you leave this supporting school which affirms what’s right and good. And expect that when you move out of the home you grew up in that you will be tempted to compromise your morals for the acceptance and approval of society — contrary to the praise you received for morality from your family.
“Surround yourselves with friends who want to be their best selves and know how to put others before themselves. They will prove to be true friends when you need them most and will inspire you to strive continually for the highest moral and intellectual character.”
Eight of Millennium’s 24 graduates achieved summa cum laude status (grade point average of 4.4 or higher). Two of those honor graduates spoke for the seniors. First up was Julia Rose Southern.
In keeping with the theme with the second president, Southern pointed out that Adams was staunchly against the British Stamp Act of 1965. However, when five people died in the Boston massacre in 1770, Adams defended the soldiers arrested.
“Adams deeply understood that every person deserves a fair trial,” she said.
“I feel that our nation and our world need to heed Adams’ words. We live in a society of people who are more interested in a piece of technology than in current events or political matters.”
Like the founding fathers, the seniors are blazing a trail, too, as the first graduating class in school history, she said.
“We may not have built this school, but we put our blood, sweat and, sometimes, literal tears into it.”
Senior Madison Meadows said, “When I look out at the Class of 2018, I see a group of young adults with a powerful passion to change the world.”
Looking at her classmates, she said she could envision “a politician with sights set on making the world a more peaceful place, a doctor who holds the key to curing cancer, an engineer who strives to make the world better for the disabled, and a writer who will write untold truths. The possibilities for the Class of 2018 are limitless.”
Citing a quote from an unknown source mentioned on the website of Dr. Paul Chappell, Meadows said, “‘The men and women who have moved the world have been the men and women the world could not move.’ Be unmovable in your beliefs. … Remember what MCA has taught you.”
Reach Jeff at 415-4692.