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Continued: Commencement

“The university has a reputation for having a great, rigorous program in education,” said Moran, whose daughter Madeline, 13, and son James, 12, were taking pictures of their mother from their seats. “It is a quality program. I plan to become an assistant principal and then a principal so that I can help inspire young teachers.”

Boykin, whose ankle was adorned with the yellow “Live Strong” band popularized by cyclist Lance Armstrong, said she adopts the message in her own life. Boykin went from never exercising to a routine that includes daily physical activity, including cardiorespiratory exercises, running five days a week and strength training twice a week.

“I still need to work on my diet,” said Boykin, who works at the YMCA in Columbia and will pursue a master’s degree in public health in January. “But I am very concerned about preventing heart disease and obesity in young people.”

Commencement speaker Deborah Joy Voigt, an internationally known opera singer, discovered her love for opera because of a sixth-grade teacher who recognized her potential as a singer and encouraged her to study music.

Today, her passion for music education takes Voigt into elementary schools to introduce music concepts to children and taking part in master classes and other programs for music students. She also has given numerous benefit performances, including concerts for Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and the New York Theater Workshop.

“The arts help us to live as complete human beings,” said Voigt, who was awarded an honorary doctor of music degree by the university.

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