Contact: Sasha Steinberg
STARKVILLE, Miss.‚ÄĒ ‚ÄúYou can never be happy letting someone else choose your career,‚ÄĚ guest speaker Ron Hall told more than 3,400 students gathered Tuesday [August 18] at Mississippi State University‚Äôs second Freshman Convocation in Humphrey Coliseum.
The co-author of the university‚Äôs 2015 Maroon Edition common reading experience selection, ‚ÄúSame Kind of Different as Me,‚ÄĚ shared those words of wisdom and seven other lessons that he said have served him well throughout his life.
--Don‚Äôt miss an opportunity for God to know you.
--Every ‚Äúno‚ÄĚ gets you closer to a ‚Äúyes.‚ÄĚ
--Hustle. Hustle. Hustle.
--Dream big dreams.
--Make your life and legacy uniquely you.
--God can take trash and turn it into treasure.
--Share your blessings.
In his closing remarks, Hall shared words of wisdom from his fellow ‚ÄúSame Kind of Different as Me‚ÄĚ co-author, the late Denver Moore: ‚ÄúNobody can help everybody, but everybody can help somebody.‚ÄĚ
Prior to Hall‚Äôs address, MSU President Mark E. Keenum, Provost and Executive Vice President Jerry Gilbert, Robert Holland Faculty Senate President Cody Coyne, along with Student Association President Joseph M. ‚ÄúJoJo‚ÄĚ Dodd and Vice President Roxanne L. ‚ÄúRoxie‚ÄĚ Raven, officially welcomed the Class of 2019 to the Bulldog family.
Dodd also led the students as they recited the University Honor Code in unison.
Each student also received a Freshman Convocation coin to commemorate the special occasion.
Keenum, who holds three degrees from the state‚Äôs flagship research university, promised the newest class of Bulldogs that their college years are going to change their lives.
‚ÄúYou will hone your leadership and teamwork skills, deepen your understanding of people who come from places and cultures different from your own, and gain a greater appreciation for helping others,‚ÄĚ he said.
‚ÄúOur goal is to ensure that you are prepared to lead a good life that includes contributions not only to your profession, but to your community, to our state, to our nation and more importantly, to the vast majority of people who are less fortunate than you are,‚ÄĚ Keenum emphasized.
Keenum also encouraged students to develop lofty visions for themselves. Earning a degree from Mississippi State, he said, will prepare them to do anything, go anywhere and live their dreams.
‚ÄúDo not underestimate yourself,‚ÄĚ Keenum advised. ‚ÄúYou have strengths, skills and smarts that you don‚Äôt even realize that you have. We have talented, dedicated, world-class faculty, administrators and fellow students who are here to assist you in your journey here at Mississippi State. But of course, this process starts with you.‚ÄĚ
Gilbert echoed those sentiments and encouraged students to pursue learning activities both inside and outside of the classroom. Study abroad, undergraduate research, service learning, student leadership, internships and co-oping all are ways for students to augment the classroom learning experience and enhance their overall education, he said.
‚ÄúWe are excited to be here to commemorate the beginning of your academic career at MSU,‚ÄĚ Gilbert told the largest class in university history. ‚ÄúYour journey to completing college will not include just going to class. You will be growing intellectually and gaining life skills that will aid you in becoming a leader in your chosen profession.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄúI hope that you will leave this ceremony inspired with an attitude that you will be successful here at Mississippi State and in life.‚ÄĚ
At the ceremony‚Äôs conclusion, MSU‚Äôs State Singers‚ÄĒunder the direction of Associate Professor of Music and Choral Activities Director Gary Packwood‚ÄĒled the Class of 2019 in the singing of the alma mater, ‚ÄúMaroon and White.‚ÄĚ
MSU is Mississippi‚Äôs flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.