Graduate gives hope for the future

Published 8:20 pm Saturday, June 2, 2018

To the editor:

Sometimes this younger generation amazes and gives me hope for the future of my country.

I would not have expected a young college graduate from Tyner, N.C., a tiny rural area near Hertford, to have the privilege of meeting and bringing into the sports complex the vice president of the United States of America, Mike Pence, where he was to address the graduates.


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What an honor for Razi Lane who graduated May 12 from Hillsdale College, located in another rural area in the state of Michigan. Along with 5,600 other parents, grandparents and guests, I was there to witness it. So was Pat Sajak of “Wheel of Fortune” fame, a trustee of this conservative Christian college founded 164 years ago by the Freewill Baptists. Among other surprising things about this beautiful, well-preserved campus was that before graduation from Hillsdale College, every student must know the U.S. Constitution.

I first met the Lanes in the 1990s, when Razi was a newborn. I have stayed in touch, watched him and his younger brother, a cadet at West Point, grow up, seen this home-schooled young man excel in so many ways. He graduated magna cum laude while acting as resident assistant in his dormitory and working in the library to help pay expenses. Razi was president of the senior class and gave the final address on behalf of the class graduates. He is a conservative and has been accepted at Notre Dame, with an eye to completing his studies and getting his law degree by 2021.

Why would I make a note of this and send it to the Suffolk News-Herald? It was in Hertford I found the Suffolk News-Herald has a very large circulation. The Lanes pick up these free copies and had seen articles I have written. It is not a large newspaper, but it has a “long arm” that reaches outside of Suffolk.

Hertford, N.C., is a historic and beautiful town with some famous names like “Catfish Hunter,” the beloved and remembered baseball player. Down the road a short piece is Tyner, a farming area of the past that probably does not have such significance. Maybe one day, one of its college graduates will be another well-known name.

Sometimes a hometown son needs some praise. If Razi continues on his course, I will feel very proud to have been a large enough part of his life to say I know him. It was an honor to be with his parents and an uncle and aunt at his graduation. Razi Lane deserves recognition as a graduate who did not destroy his school property or his reputation. In the words of Abou Ben Adam, “may his tribe increase.”

Myrtle V. Thompson