I was very honored to have the opportunity to speak to the graduating seniors of my alma mater, Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, Louisiana. On Thursday, May 5, NSU threw a ‘Fork Em Farewell Crawfish Boil’ for seniors and their families. As a board member for the NSU Alumni Association, I was asked to share some advice for these soon-to-be graduates as they set out into the world.
Here are my remarks:
Never stop expanding your mind. Don’t think the only way you’ve learned something is after climbing four flights of stairs in Kyser Hall. Each day presents new opportunities to push your boundaries, to surprise yourself. Be intentional about seeking out new experiences and people who bring value to your day. Graduation isn’t the finish line.
Don’t forget to pay it forward. You’ve probably heard that metaphor about successful people “standing on the shoulders of giants.” While you’re up there, don’t forget to invite someone else to enjoy the view! You didn’t get to this point without some help from a family member, a professor, or a friend. Be a force for good in the world by sharing your time and talent with others. You’ll find this will reward you in more ways than you can imagine. Get started tomorrow. Don’t wait!
Lastly, stay connected to NSU. My life is better because of this place. By now, you are well aware the people make Natchitoches and Northwestern truly unique. The best way you can help your alma mater achieve a brighter future is letting the world know what makes it special. No matter where life takes you, take NSU with you! Wear your purple and NSU gear when you travel, when you’re working out — everywhere! It’s a great conversation starter and you never know when you’ll find a fellow Demon in your corner of the world. Show your Purple Pride on social media. Ask your friends and family if they’ve considered getting a degree from NSU. Refer the best students from your hometown to the premiere regional university in the South. Join the brand-new DemonsUnite.net and connect with your classmates, search for jobs and mentoring opportunities. There are plenty of ways to stay involved through the Alumni Association’s events in cities around the country. Joining the alumni association or giving to the NSU Foundation will help students with scholarships and shows your personal investment the future our alma mater. Don’t let graduation be the last time you set foot in campus. If you didn’t explore the best small town in the South while you were a student, Natchitoches has so much to offer. Come back for Homecoming or Christmas Festival. It’s a totally different experience as an alumnus.
I think some of the best advice came from my dear friend, the late Dr. Randall Webb. I got to know him by hosting a weekly TV show with him on NSU TV for several years. I spent a lot of time in his office, talking about NSU. I asked him about a glass-shaped heart he kept on the desk in his office. It was given to him by longtime Dean of Women, Lucile Hendrick. She said it represented his family’s history and devotion to Northwestern. The heart was a deep purple. Dr. Webb said it was a reminder of his love for the university and inspired him to always keep Old Normal in his heart. So I ask you now… what color is your heart? Will people know by your actions?
The views expressed in this blog do not necessarily reflect the views of KLTV/KTRE-TV or Raycom Media. They are solely the opinion of the author. All content © Copyright 2016 Lane Luckie