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MavsMeet Convocation

August 22, 2017

In1988 Richard Bach wrote, “Of course there’s destiny, but destiny doesn’t push you where you don’t want to go. You’re the ones who choose. Destiny is up to you.”

Good afternoon, Ladies and Gentlemen. Welcome to Maverick Country. Welcome to your home. Welcome to a wonderful future.

It is an honor and a pleasure to greet you today as you take steps towards that destiny. A destiny that you initiated years ago and you now continue to sculpt – towards being a Nobel, Fields or Pulitzer prize winner, CEO or CFO of a major corporation, the next Florence Nightingale, the architect of the next generation social network, or perhaps even President of UTA.

MavsMeet Convocation is a special occasion because it marks a beginning – a time of promise, and the transition from dreams to reality. What you do in the next few years will set the stage for your lives, making those cherished dreams come true through the power of your intellect, determination and hard work – and through the dedication of the wonderful people helping you along your journey – your families, your friends, and our wonderful students, faculty and staff.

Let me at the outset recognize some special people who have helped to bring you here and will continue guiding you on your way through graduation. As I call out your groups could you please stand and remain standing so that we may recognize you.

  • The MavElite – they took you on your first campus tour and introduced you to UTA;
  • The Maverick Orientation Leaders – who helped set the stage for beginning your stay here with confidence;
  • The Maverick March Student Organizations – they led you in today, celebrating the start of a new year;
  • Peer Academic Leaders, Peer Instructors and Freshmen Year Experience Instructors who will serve as guides, friends and philosophers as you transition into being college students;
  • Members of the Apartment and Residence Life Team – who serve as your own UTA GPS – providing you with direction, knowledge and insight; and
  • The Student Affairs Team led by Lisa Nagy who are there to assist, guide, and help you, cheer you on when things are going well and support you when you need a shoulder.

Could you please join me in a round of applause for these dedicated campus leaders?

MavsMeet is not just a time of welcome – it’s a time of connecting and re-connecting with your Maverick family. You are musicians and athletes, physicists and nurses, engineers and philosophers, teachers and social workers. You come from Arlington, Fort Worth and Dallas, Los Angeles and New York, Florida and Minnesota, Germany, Japan and Argentina, from cities, ranches and small towns. You bring the world to UTA – and YOU represent the promise of the future – the promise of achievements and success, the promise to dream lofty dreams and to achieve goals others may have considered to be impossible.

While each of you has a specific goal in mind — beginning with an undergraduate degree — remember that it is the journey towards that goal – how you shape it and how you experience it – that will define the quality of your personal development and the footprints that you leave on the sands of time. Remember that you are not alone. We are privileged to have accomplished scholars on our faculty, and dedicated staff who care deeply for you. Use them as a resource both in and outside class. Get to know them and join with them on a journey of discovery and enquiry that spans far more than formal class work.

And while you are here, strive for what others may consider impossible. Spread your wings and reach for the stars. Have faith in yourselves and never be scared of stretching beyond your bounds for your abilities are limited only by what you believe are constraints.

I wish you well as you begin your journey and look forward to the time, a few years hence, when we will have the honor of congratulating each of you on receiving a degree from this university and joining the ranks of our distinguished alumni – astronauts, scientists, teachers, health care providers, leaders of industry, artists and innovators.

It’s now my distinct pleasure to introduce to you our keynote speaker – radio and television personality, youth motivator, and organizer extraordinaire –Rocky Turner. Rock-T is a member of the well-known Rickey Smiley Morning Show and has hosted and appeared on the television show Dish Nation & Rickey Smiley for Real. He is the founder and creator of “STOMP WARS” the nation’s top Step Competition. His annual Hoops for Hope youth basketball tournament draws over 150 teams from across the country and his ROCKTEEN youth mentoring program motivates youth to start living a lifestyle that promotes academic achievement, character development and positive life choices. Rock-T lives by the motto: No Excuses, Get it Done!

Ladies and Gentlemen, please help me welcome a Maverick, a proud UTA alum, and my friend – Rock-T.