College of Charleston’s 2018 Winter Commencement speaker Sabra Horne ‘87 completely understands the excitement surrounding commencement.

Sabra Horne ‘87 addresses the graduates at the College of Charleston’s 2018 Winter Commencement.

From her own CofC graduation in 1987, she remembers the exhilaration of walking across the stage to receive her diploma and the anticipation of beginning the next chapter in her life. Now, several chapters later, she is the director of the Organizational Change Management Initiative under the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

During her commencement speech on Dec. 15, 2018, Horne told the graduating class that opportunities arise when you keep your eyes and your mind open.

“Our lives are made up of our choices,” said Horne. “What we choose to do, who we choose to associate with, what we choose to be part of is absolutely fundamental in what we become. Each day, we are presented with choices, choices which will turn the course of our lives in ways we can’t possibly know or even understand.”

RELATED: Find all the graduates listed in the official 2018 Winter Commencement Program.

Horne says with hard work, a good attitude and intelligence, you can accomplish almost anything. “I have seen this sound advice benefit those who have worked for me, for colleagues throughout the years, and in my own life,” she said.

Prior to her government service, Horne had an 18-year career in academic publishing, the last 12 as senior executive editor for the largest list of academic criminal justice publications at Wadsworth Publishing. She holds a master’s degree in public administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a bachelor of arts degree in English from the College of Charleston. She is also a member of the College of Charleston Dean’s Council.

In addition to Horne, the College of Charleston also presented honorary degrees to philanthropists Dr. Neil Draisin ’65 and Carolyn Feinberg Draisin and former College of Charleston Board of Trustee Chair Greg Padgett ’79 during the ceremony.

Nearly 250 undergraduate students and 58 graduate students received their degrees during the commencement program held in TD Arena.