This past Saturday at the Copperweld Arena, located in Nisbett Center on the Motlow College Moore County campus, graduation was held for 729 graduates. Energy, excitement and pride were not limited to graduates, however. Family members and friends filled the bleachers for the 44th graduation event. Motlow College opened in 1969 and held its first graduation in 1971. Keith Hamilton, corporate manager of the North America Manufacturing and Education Center for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operation in LaVergne, was guest speaker for two commencement ceremonies. The first ceremony, at 10 a.m., accommodated nursing graduates and graduates who took most of their courses on the Moore County campus. A second ceremony was held at 2 p.m. for graduates from Motlow’s Fayetteville, McMinnville and Smyrna centers. Hamilton spoke to the graduates about recognizing heroes in their everyday lives and how people would look to the graduates to be heroes in the future. He encouraged the graduates to take advantage of the opportunity that a college degree represents. Dr. MaryLou Apple, president of the college, emphasized the importance of graduation day and recognized outstanding students, including 21 who earned perfect 4.0 grade-point averages and honors graduates.