Ashley Thompson | Features Writer

After graduating, a student pursues future careers and begins to think about what comes after walking off that platform at graduation. The APSU Center of Creative Arts welcomed alumna Laurie Cannady to read from her book in the MUC 303 on Thursday, Feb. 23.

Cannady shared some of her successes and journeys during the presentation, reading excerpts from her memoir “Crave: Sojourn of a Hungry Soul.”

“This is the third year the creative arts center has had an alumna come back and present their works. It makes us really proud that students from our program go on to other programs or graduate school and show their works,” Professor Barry Kitterman said.

Students from the school as well as some middle college dual seniors that attend college classes at APSU listened in on Cannady’s presenatation.

“It was very interesting because I didn’t really know what to expect because I hadn’t read her book,” middle college student Hailey LaBelle said. “Hearing her tell some of her story and being so confident was very inspiring. She’s so proud of her accomplishments and what she had overcome and learned.”

Cannady spoke of her reasons for writing her memoir as well as the people that inspired her from her time at APSU and the military.

“I am more than delighted to be back and speak here. This is where I began, where the Laurie you see here started to grow,” Cannady said. “The professors here, they stay with me, I keep them updated and they keep me updated. It still does feel like the Governors family to me.”

Cannady said she shares some of her mother’s stories as well because she considers them part of her own story.

“I wrote this book because I wanted people to know that you can come from some of the darkest things and experiences and still be made whole,” Cannady said. “You can still find that way to find your own redemption, not someone giving it to you, or someone supplying it to you but actually creating it for yourself.”

Cannady said, from one generation to the next, “we took a lesson that we couldn’t use in our generation to pass on. So if you’re are a writer I hope you take that very seriously. I hope writers take that responsibility to be that person enlightening others, so that they can share their stories as well.”

She also said that people should tell the stories they feel need to be shared in writing because in her opinion writing heals.

The Center of Creative Arts also set up an area for Cannady to sign her memoir and answer questions about her book.

“I think what Laurie talked about was an important topic that normally people don’t discuss and I think it was important to hear about it,” M.A.T. graduate Sarah Himes said.

Alumnae visiting campus shows where students can go after graduation and how people grow with time. For some, Cannady was a great example of growing as a Governor and heading into the future.