When Floyd Robinson, a 56-year old, first-time college graduate, started his degree program, Brandman University was known as Chapman University College and George W. Bush was in his first term as President of the United States. Eleven years later, Robinson crossed the stage in lightning quick speed to finally take possession of his bachelor’s degree in organizational leadership.
Robinson was one of forty-three graduates who took part in Bangor’s commencement ceremony at the Naval Undersea Museum in Keyport, WA. “Don’t quit,” said Robinson.
“You set a goal and it appears to be difficult, but don’t quit. You may have to take a break, but remember what the goal is, and that is to complete the degree. Don’t quit.”
Robinson didn’t quit despite working full time for the Department of Defense and working full time as a Pastor at Mount Lebanon Baptist Church in Bremerton. “Each year I seemed to have a major life event that caused me to take a break.” said Robinson.
Back surgery in 2009 delayed his studies further, but Robinson persevered. “I don’t want to go into great detail, but this has been quite a journey and it has been very satisfying,” said Robinson. So satisfying that the 56-year old spent the moments prior to his graduation reciting, word for word, a poem he once wrote from a liberal arts class. The poem was titled “The Other Side.” For those of his fellow graduates within ear shot of his recital, it seemed to fit the theme of the day.
The U.S. Marine Corps veteran will now use the knowledge he learned from obtaining his degree to continue in his position with the Department of Defense as a performance assessment representative that evaluates government contracts at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
Three generations of Robinson’s family made their way to Keyport to share in Robinson’s joy. His two daughters and a grandchild traveled from Virginia to witness what Floyd called “a wonderful day.” As Robinson left the stage his family shouted in unison, “Way to go bachelor Robinson!”
Navy veteran Melissa Kittrell, Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership, was the student commencement speaker.
Dr. Glenn Worthington, dean of the School of Business and Professional Studies delivered the commencement speech.
Over 300 guests were present inside the Jack Murdock Auditorium.