Class Told to Conquer its Dreams
By: Rodney Minor
The Leader Herald

The Gloversville High school class of 2007 walked onto Husky Field in a full procession under a bright June sky Friday. The students, many dressed colorfully with sunglasses and decorated mortarboards, followed the American flag, the New York State flag, and the Senior class flag onto the field.

They sat in the center field of the baseball diamond, bouncing beach balls throughout the commencement. The graduates were cheered on throughout the night by a large crowd that overflowed from the bleachers and onto the hillside overlooking the field.

As the maroon-robed boys and white-robed girls sat and reflected on their experiences, commencement speaker Calvin Robinson told the graduates he remembered when he was sitting in the same spot.

Robinson who graduated from Gloversville high school in 1996, said he recalled the uncertainty, excitement, nervousness and pride that filled him throughout the ceremony. He was thinking about everything he was leaving behind to go to Union College.

“I though of the fondest memories, my time in school, on the basketball court, [but] I had made my choices, had a plan and was ready to achieve,” Robinson said.

Robinson was graduated from Union College in Schenectady in 2000. He went to Florida State College of Law and graduated in 2004. He is now an agent who represents NFL Players.

He told the class to conquer their dreams. The graduates would need to take risks, take all of their knowledge, and put it into action, Robinson said. ”Most importantly have a goal,” Robinson advised the students.

The graduates will face many challenges, but they will become stronger when they overcome each one, Robinson said. Whether they were good or bad students, today they were given a clean slate to work with, he said.

He said knowing what he wanted to do came early in life. As a boy he use to argue with his sister, and his mother told him to be a lawyer. “You can argue and get paid for it,” Robinson said to laughs.

He said while he was far from the best student and was even suspended from school once, he saw the light at the end of the tunnel. “Those were my goals and dreams,” Robinson said.

In a somber moment, Robinson reminded the graduates they had all experienced a tragedy. “Shauna Beekman [and others], they’re the angels over our shoulders,” Robinson said. Beekman, a Gloversville student, was murdered in 2003. This would have been her year to graduate.

“Make your loved one’s proud…[they’re] very proud on days such as today,” Robinson said. Third Ward Common Council member James Robinson, also a graduate of Gloversville High School in 1974, read a letter from Beekman’s family. Family members said they were proud to have a scholarship fund established in Shauna’s honor and thanked the school district for their generosity.

When the nine students in the 2007 class who received scholarships in Shauna’s name stood to be recognized, the cheers and applause shook the bleachers. As the sun began to set, and the diplomas were handed out, the chill air was countered by the enthusiasm of thise in attendance.

Perhaps they remembered what Calvin Robinson told them. “Live each day as your last, because some day you will most certainly be right,” Robinson said.


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