BRIDGEWATER — As Bridgewater College’s graduating seniors and their families celebrated in Nininger Hall on Saturday, Virginia Supreme Court Justice and Harrisonburg native William C. Mims urged the 301 graduates to remember society’s “timeless virtues” and to build meaningful lives.
The commencement ceremony was moved from the campus mall to Nininger Hall due to rain.
Mims, who became a member of the court three years ago, previously served as the chief deputy attorney general under former Attorney General and current Gov. Bob McDonnell. He also served as attorney general, completing McDonnell’s term when the governor resigned to focus full-time on his gubernatorial bid in 2009. Mims also served in the Virginia House of Delegates 1992-1998 and in the state Senate from 1998-2006.
Mims grew up in Harrisonburg and was educated in the city’s public school system. He received a degree in history from the College of William and Mary, where he also completed graduate work in public administration. He earned law degrees from George Washington and Georgetown universities.
His address to graduates, titled “After the Revolution,” spoke to various social and technological revolutions throughout history.
Saturday’s graduates, Mims said, are living in the midst of the Internet revolution and must come to grips with answering those questions. The answers, he added, can best be found in the “timeless virtues rooted in antiquity and nurtured by this modern college.”
“Tomorrow your horizons will expand,” Mims said. “Your hopes and dreams and challenges will grow. So many things will change.”
But, he added, Bridgewater’s graduates should always remember that “the timeless virtues apply equally to all persons at all times in all places. They are not circumstantial. They will not change. After the revolution, they will stand.”
Saturday’s graduating class comprised 100 who earned Bachelor of Arts degrees and 175 who earned Bachelor of Science degrees. The college’s interim president, Roy Ferguson, conferred the degrees at the ceremony. Twenty-six members of the class will receive degrees after completing their remaining studies by Aug. 2.
The Daily News-Record will have a complete report on Bridgewater’s commencement in Monday’s print and online editions.