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May 27, 2024 8:42 am

Sadie Robertson Huff delivers powerful message at University of Mount Olive commencement

MOUNT OLIVE — New York Times Best-Selling Author and Founder of Live Original Sadie Robertson-Huff spoke to a packed house at the University of Mount Olive’s spring commencement.  

Robertson-Huff first appeared on the popular TV show “Duck Dynasty” and was later featured on “Dancing with the Stars.”  Since then, Robertson-Huff has used her platform to share the gospel and encourage others to live lives dedicated to Christ. Her selection as the University’s keynote commencement speaker was intentional. Earlier this year the University premiered “The Blind,” a movie featuring the life and spiritual journey of “Duck Dynasty” patriarch Phil Robertson, Sadie’s grandfather. ​​Following the screening, over 30 students gave their lives to Christ and were baptized on the campus. In the months following, many more students made a profession of faith totaling nearly 80.

Robertson-Huff is the host of the popular podcast WHOA, That’s Good, which reaches millions of listeners each month. Her Live Original blog features encouraging and transparent messages from Robertson-Huff and her closest friends. She also hosts an online community and app, LO Sister,designed to cultivate sisterhood through Bible studies and workshops.

During the 9:30 a.m. commencement ceremony held in Kornegay Arena, Robertson-Huff delivered an inspirational message about the challenges of making significant choices in life and the importance of discovering one’s purpose and fulfilling it. She emphasized the need for preparation and trust in life’s next steps, and the importance of trusting in God’s providence and guidance in times of uncertainty. Robertson-Huff shared her journey of discovering and following God’s lead for her life, emphasizing the importance of staying faithful and taking the next step, even when the outcome is uncertain. 

“You put in the hard work, you did what you needed to do to be confident to take the next step in life,” she said. “But now you’re going to have to let faith and let God lead you along the way. The only thing that will give you the confidence to take the next step is the willingness to put one foot in front of the other as you go. And let me be honest, it might feel like falling and not flying at first, but falling teaches you how to walk, and walking teaches you how to run.”

Robertson-Huff referenced a scripture in the Bible from Matthew 6:34 ‘Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own,” she recited.  She also referenced the passage in Genesis when Abraham brought his son Isaac to the mountain because God called him to do that. “Now that was extremely intimidating,” she said.  “You see sometimes you have to show up to the place in the mountain to see God is the provider that He will be. In life, we often want to know everything that we are stepping into.  However, faith is having confidence in the things that we hope for, and the assurance in things that we cannot see. God is a God who guides you like a good shepherd. He will make your paths straight. You never know from moment to moment how your work will turn out in the end. You see, there are some things in life that are obvious, and other things in life that require faith. Rest in God and know that He writes the best stories. I don’t know what tomorrow brings, but because I know who the God of tomorrow is, I am ready to take my next step. So cheers to all of you and cheers to your next step!”

Following Robertson-Huff’s speech, UMO President Dr. H. Edward Croom challenged graduates by saying, “As you begin a new journey in life, using the degree that you have earned, never forget to keep Jesus in the conversation.  Our motto around campus has been to focus, dream, and serve. It is our prayer that you will continue to dream and serve all of mankind as you embark on a new journey.”   President Croom announced the start of a new tradition for UMO graduates.  In addition to diplomas, each graduate received a leather-bound Bible signed by the University’s faculty and staff and presented by Robertson-Huff.

Board Chair and UMO Alumnus Earl Worley said, “It is our hope and prayer that you are leaving this University well-prepared intellectually, morally, and spiritually to face the world. We trust that you will take with you wonderful memories of your experiences.   In addition, be grateful to those who have helped make your journey possible.”

This year’s spring graduating class represented students from 3 continents, 7 countries, and 21 states in America.  Of the 279 graduates, 19 received associate degrees, 229 received bachelor’s degrees, and 31 were awarded master’s degrees.

Closing out the ceremony, UMO Alumni Association President Julie Graham welcomed the class of 2024 to the family and urged them to stay connected with their alma mater.  “The bonds you have formed here will continue to be a source of strength and support as you navigate the challenges and opportunities that come your way.”