On Saturday, May 17, 2014, the Class of 2014 graduated from Philadelphia University at the Mann Center for Performing Arts. I shared words of advice with the class at the beginning of the ceremony, and I wanted to share them here as well for everyone to read and ponder.
Each year I reveal the secrets of success to the incoming first year students. I sometimes repeat this advice to students along the way in their careers at Philadelphia University. I’d like to remind you of these secrets… and at the end of my brief remarks add one more to seal the deal.
Remember, you have to do these 4 things, plus the graduation day fifth secret, every day.
• Brush your teeth.
• Shine your shoes.
• Be on time for every meeting and appointment.
• Work hard.
They are, of course, metaphors for a disciplined and committed life. All four of these tasks are within your control. Indeed, you don’t need a university education to do these things.
But in a matter of moments you will be university graduates. These secrets to success are now fueled by an ability to think deeply, seek opportunity, solve problems and act decisively.
At Philadelphia University we are obsessed with preparing you to be professionals in the field of your passion and empower you to be leaders in your communities…insisting that you ask the probing questions:
• Is what I am doing professionally desirable, feasible and valuable for the people I serve?
When you think deeply and act decisively, you become a “critical doer”… but you also risk failure, for there is no perfect plan.
When you leave PhilaU, I believe you will find that most people around you will hesitate, afraid of the risks. But the greater risk is leading a boring life filled with hesitation and second guessing.
You know how to build and use knowledge, you are decisive and creative. Don’t waste time on mediocrity…create greatness.
Ah yes, the fifth secret to success. It is my personal favorite and the first among equals:
Believe in something more important than yourself. It will force you to be humble especially when you achieve great things. It will calm you when life chaotically swirls around you and it will make you grateful for the love and support of family, friends and colleagues during your journey.
Class of 2014… congratulations!