Thousands of Baton Rouge students received their diplomas Friday as LSU, Southern and Baton Rouge Community College all held their spring commencement ceremonies.

John S. Wilson Jr., the executive director of the White House Initiatives on Historically Black Colleges and Universities told Southern’s graduates they need to continue learning at all times to keep from falling behind as the rest of the world catches up. Brian Dixon, executive director of the Mentorship Academy in Baton Rouge, told BRCC’s graduates to add value to other people’s lives in order to add value to their own. Linda Thomas-Greenfield, director general of the Foreign Service delivered the graduation address at LSU, her alma mater.