Published: May 10, 2010
While Rashid Skaf ’92 couldn’t remember who gave the commencement
address at his graduation, he hoped graduates at UT’s 128th commencement
would remember at least one thing he said at theirs.
“Live fearlessly and without regret,” said Skaf, the keynote speaker at the May 8 spring commencement.
president and CEO of AMX, graduated from UT with a degree in management
before receiving his MBA at the American Graduate School of
International Management-Thunderbird (now the Thunderbird School of
“Never let anyone else tell you what is
possible or right,” Skaf continued. “Never compromise your true core
beliefs or you’ll be lost. I believe everything is possible, even
Skaf spoke to more than 1,000 graduates and a crowd
of families and friends at the St. Pete Times Forum, encouraging those
in caps and gowns to “take risks, explore and challenge yourself,
envision the possibilities and make them a reality.”
McNichols, chairman of the Board of Trustees, reminded the graduates to
thank those who helped them get to commencement. He challenged them to
verbally set a goal for their life’s purpose and to “make a permanent
difference in this world.”
Quoting Henry Ford, McNichols said, “You don’t build a reputation on what you intend to do.”
“Today, Class of 2010, your intentions are reality,” McNichols said. “You are the reality show, and we’re filming it.”
Cormier ’10, of Fitchburg, MA, issued the student challenge. He told
his peers that although it feels like the hard work is over, it’s not
the time to rest.
“Today is the first step toward achieving your
dreams,” said Cormier, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history.
“Never under any circumstances surrender your aspirations.”
class of 2010 wasn’t the only one honored on Saturday. Thomas Meachum
’81, MBA ’93 was awarded the 2009 Esse Quam Videri Award. Meachum has
served on the board of directors for Tampa Alpha
UT’s local alumni chapter, since 1993 and has helped raise more than
$200,000 for the University at various Tampa Alpha activities. He also
helped found The Royal Krewe of Sparta Endowed Scholarship for student
April (Gillespie) Jones ’04 received the 2010 Young
Alumnus Award. She has been on the National Alumni Association since
shortly after graduation and is now the vice president of financial
affairs for them.
To see highlights from the 128th commencement, visit our photo gallery
. To see videos of what some graduates are doing with their diplomas, visit our Life After UT
gallery. Jamie Pilarczyk, Web Writer
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