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Class of 2022 First Convocation: Leading Through Transformation

Wednesday, August 24, 2022, marked this year's first convocation: The President's Convocation. The President's Convocation is a time to welcome new and returning students, faculty, and staff to Tougaloo College each year. This year's theme was "Leading Through Transformation". Tougaloo College is in the process of molding tomorrow's leaders by equipping every student with the tools and resources necessary to be successful. Our President, Dr. Carmen J. Walters, said it best, "The road from Tougaloo can take you anywhere". This statement was later confirmed by Tougaloo Alum John "Trey" L. Baker III.

Over the years, Baker has defined what it looks like to transform from an Eaglet to a Soaring High Eagle! Baker graduated from Tougaloo College in 2006 and later earned his law degree from the University of Denver Strum College of Law in 2009. Throughout his career, He served as a community leader. He worked as a City Manager for Grenada, Mississippi as well as the Chief Executive of the council-manager form of government. His work brought the city of Grenada, Mississippi more revenue to improve the city in multiple ways. Most notably were the improvements to the city's street and water infrastructure.

During Biden's Presidential Campaign, Baker served as the National Director of African American Engagement. The country saw record-breaking voter turnout from the African American community during the 2020 Election. Now, Baker serves as the Senior Advisor for Public Engagement under the Biden Administration. A Tougaloo grad now working for the White House! That Tougaloo road can take you very far indeed!

Baker's message centered around picking yourself up when you fall. He retells instances at Tougaloo College when he failed. However, he did not allow one failure to dictate his life. He informed every student in attendance that they will fail at some point. Failure is inevitable but it is not the end. This is a message that college students everywhere should realize and take to heart. When you fall down, get back up and try again because Tougaloo College produces leaders and changemakers. Will you be the exception?

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