Spring 2021 Commencement Speaker: Thomas “Chris” Curry
Posted on May 14, 2021 by MCOB Outreach
Chris Curry, President of the Mobile Airport Authority, congratulates the 2021 graduates, remarking, “This day is a great day for everyone. Professors are happy to see these students leave campus with the skills to take on a career in business. Students are excited to leave school behind and start living on their own. And, for the parents, they may be the happiest. Of course, it is special to see your kids succeed, but now those kids are out of your wallet!”
As we all know, this year’s graduates have been through a lot as they finish their education. Curry asserts that the class of 2021 will always, “be linked as the class that graduated and succeeded despite COVID. Some of you have lost loved ones and others, part of your college experience.” However, Curry implores graduates to focus on how this experience has allowed them to develop essential skills for their lives and careers, specifically flexibility. “You were able to adjust from an in-person school environment to a virtual class environment– successfully. That is a precursor to life. Life is about having enough tools in your chest so you can be flexible when things do not go as planned.”
Additionally, Mr. Curry provided students with five more tools and lessons learned, which have guided him in his career.
First, “If you do positive things, you will get a positive result.”
Second, “It is just as important to know what you don’t want to do as it is to know what you want to do.” He emphasized not to panic if you don’t have every aspect of your life figured out. Some of the graduates may have jobs lined up and others may not know what to do next but “We all have a different definition of a path to success.”
Third, “The world is your stage.” In your career, “new locations may provide new opportunities.”
Fourth, “Every day is an audition”. You never know who will play a role in your next job opportunity--“from the receptionist to the CEO, treat them all with respect.”
Finally, “Learn something new every day.” Though the graduates may have finished their education, “the most successful people never stop learning. Take a different route to work, read media with a different point of view, talk with people from different points in life, etc.” To employers, the most valuable aspect of a degree is one which, “demonstrates your ability and future potential to learn even more. Never stop learning.”
To conclude, Mr. Curry gives encouragement to the class of 2021 for their future. “As we celebrate today, you will find education has laid the groundwork for you to excel, but this is only the beginning. The future of our world is uncertain, and we are depending on you to lead us forward.”
Congratulations to the Mitchell College of Business class of 2021!
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