Ben Carson Addresses Class of 2018

Daniel Kuhlman, Writer

“We just need to recognize that God is always on the lookout for those who are willing to put self aside and let Him direct.” -Secretary Ben Carson


On May 20, 2018, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson, delivered the commencement address for the Collegedale Academy class of 2018. Secretary Carson started his message with prayer and a word of congratulation to the students and their parents. From then on, Secretary Carson’s speech focused on the correlation between God’s plan for our lives and the skills, tools, and values we cultivate to further that plan.

Secretary Carson told a story from his time in college when he had been told by his advisor that he was “…not cut out to be a doctor.” Years later, as an up-and-coming neurosurgeon, one of Secretary Carson’s patients had a life-threatening, brain stem tumor. Carson talked about the bleakness of the situation and how many advised the family to go home and let the boy die painlessly. However, God used Secretary Carson, and through God’s guidance, he managed to fully remove the entire tumor.

The trust that we as individuals must give to God and the responsibility we have to develop values and talents that will further develop God’s plan were two of the most pivotal things Secretary Carson stressed. Secretary Carson assured the audience that through every setback God would still be the one in control and the one to look to.

Yet, Secretary Carson’s speech would not have been available without the tireless efforts of both students and faculty from Collegedale Academy. Senior class president Jared Nelson had wanted Secretary Carson to speak since he had been elected to his position at the end of his junior year. Jared worked nonstop with the help of senior class sponsor Grant Graves and the other class officers. They sent letters, made phone calls, and communicated with Secretary Carson’s staff. The team soon found themselves at the point where they thought it would never actually happen.

Thankfully, matters worked out, and Jared, Mr. Graves, and the rest of the officer corps coordinated with Secretary Carson’s staff to make the date a reality. Not only did he give the address, but Secretary Carson also took the time to have a group photo with the senior class prior to the processional. This whole situation proves that God will provide for us in ways we could only imagine.

The link to the livestream of the Collegedale Academy Commencement Ceremony and Secretary Carson’s speech is at,