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Legg tells CU graduates to live a life of giving

Legg referenced Galatians 5:22, which lists the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, kindness and faith.

By Gerard Flanagan, news writer and photographer, Office of University Communications

College graduates often receive a trove of compliments as they prepare to receive their diplomas, ranging from their strong work ethic to their talents, or perhaps their perseverance.

But, Dr. Hilda Legg, in her address at Campbellsville University's commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 6, in the Powell Athletic Center, gave the graduates a unique compliment, calling them "a bunch of fruit."

"Let me tell you what kind of fruit you are," Legg told the candidates for graduation. "You are the fruit of your mother's womb, the fruit of your parents and family who have been parenting you. "You're the fruit of your teachers, your coaches, your principals, and you are the fruit of Campbellsville University."

The university held three commencement ceremonies - one on Friday, May 5 and two on Saturday, May 6, 2023. Campbellsville University had 1,344 candidates for graduation in May and August.

Legg, member of the Board of Trustees at Campbellsville University and 1974 graduate of Campbellsville College, said so many have chosen to give to Campbellsville University, whether of their money or time, because they "know the value of this fruit" and "know the value of each one of you graduates."

Legg referenced Galatians 5:22, which lists the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, kindness and faith.

"That's who you are, graduates," Legg said.

She asked the candidates if they were ready to step up to the challenge and fill the face of the world with the fruit of the Spirit, alluding to Isaiah 27:6.

She told the soon-to-be graduates, "Your purpose is to enable, motivate, assist, love, support, care, and listen to others who need you. You'll be using your fruit and cultivating other fruits when you do this, so the world can be fed and nurtured and grow, and most importantly, so that you can live a life of giving."

The world, Legg explained, is in need of these fruits.

"The world needs more of that joy, love, sweetness, gentleness, goodness, and peace," Legg said, "and you are those who can share."

Growing up, Legg said she hadn't traveled much outside Kentucky and its surrounding states. Today, through her work, she's been to more than 15 countries, including a recent trip to the Holy Land.

"The point to that is this: I couldn't have imagined the opportunities in front of me that I have been given and blessed with," she said. "...There's so much ahead of you that you can't even comprehend.

"No matter what you do, you are going to be blessed when you give of yourself, when you find the joy in giving."

Legg told the graduation candidates that their task is to make the world a better place by sharing their fruit.

"That effort will bring you love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, kindness, goodness, and maybe most importantly, faith," she said. "...And along the way, my prayer for you is that God will hold you in the hollow of His hand, and a life of giving will be your best life to live."

Legg has over 40 years of experience in rural economic development, including as administrator of the Rural Utilities Service and as alternate federal co-chair of the Appalachian Regional Commission.

She was most recently the Kentucky State Director for Rural Development in the U.S. Department of Agriculture during the administration of Donald J. Trump.

She's also served in the U.S. Department of Education.

Legg has also served as CEO and executive director of the Center for Rural Development in Somerset and field representative for United States Senator Mitch McConnell.

Today, she works at Legg Strategies as a consultant on rural economic development.

This story was posted on 2023-05-08 10:58:55
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Adair native Hilda Legg speaks at CU commencement

2023-05-08 - Taylor County, KY - Photo by Hector Santana.

Dr. Hilda Legg told the candidates for graduation to live a life of giving and to make the world a better place by exhibiting the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, kindness and faith.

She gave the address at Campbellsville University's two commencement ceremonies on Saturday. The Adair County native works at Legg Strategies as a consultant on rural economic development.

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