ABOVE: Renald “Ren” Moore, TSU’s Valedictorian for the Class of 2016
This past Saturday, December 10, Texas Southern University (TSU) showed the nation, without question, the reason why it is one of the most important educational institutions in the country and how it is living its overall purpose to showcase the talent it can recruit – despite the odds and circumstances that hinder so many from achieving their overall goals to get a quality education.
One of the graduates in attendance, served as an even greater inspiration for those in attendance, in that he is the living embodiment of TSU’s designation as a “special purpose” institution for urban programming. That designation given to TSU by the 63rd Texas Legislature in 1973 underscored the University’s founding mission – to provide higher education opportunities for those for whom such opportunities rarely existed and to embrace diversity.
Making mistakes that landed him in prison for nearly 20 years, Renald “Ren” Moore chose not to give in to despair. Rather, he began rebuilding his life while behind bars, earning an Associate’s Degree in Liberal Arts. That success gave birth to even bigger dreams, a major part of which will come to fruition at TSU’s Winter Commencement ceremony this past weekend. The aspiring actor/rapper not only earned his Bachelor’s Degree from TSU with a Radio, Television and Film major and Theater minor, he worked hard and was honored as TSU’s Valedictorian for the Class of 2016.
“When I first arrived on campus, I didn’t even know how to use a computer,” said Moore, who expected an icy reception from faculty and fellow students. To Moore’s surprise, he was greeted with open arms, provided the necessary guidance and assistance, and has emerged as an academic star sporting a 3.9 grade point average.
The 2016 Winter Commencement for TSU was held at the Health & Physical Education Arena (H&PE), where families and friends gathered to celebrate the graduates, and hear an inspiring message from Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, who served as TSU’s Commencement Speaker.
The Forward Times salutes TSU Class of 2016 Valedictorian Renald “Ren” Moore; the rest of the TSU 2016 graduates; and the staff and faculty of the Texas Southern University for helping the university fulfill its “special purpose” mission as a valued institution in the nation.