Randy Thomas, assistant professor of business, congratulates Mike Lamb after he graduates from Upper Iowa University Saturday, May 8.
FAYETTE, Iowa (May 8, 2010) – Graduates of Upper Iowa University were encouraged to continue to pursue their dreams to achieve success during the university’s 148th spring commencement on Saturday, May 8.
The Upper Iowa University Class of 2010 includes some 1,200 students. Of the more than 600 students who were on hand to receive their diplomas during UIU’s three commencement ceremonies in Dorman Memorial Gymnasium on the Fayette campus, about 550 received bachelor’s degrees in business, education, liberal arts, or math and science. Another 75 received master’s degrees. Graduates came from around the United States and included students who earned their degrees at UIU’s 15 education centers or through its online and independent study courses.
Commencement speaker for all three ceremonies was Tom M. Conley, president and CEO of The Conley Group, Des Moines, Iowa, which provides uniformed and plainclothes security services as well as investigative services. Conley is a three-time alumnus of Upper Iowa University, earning undergraduate degrees in business management and psychology as well as a master’s degree in business leadership. Conley urged the graduates to acquire the six attributes of greatness in order to achieve success during their lives.
He urged them to hang on to their core values and maintain personal integrity and honesty and to always be personally and professionally, keeping their commitments and to never stop working. “People who achieve greatness are highly committed to excellence, which is always backed by decisive action,” Conley said. “The highway of life is paved with good intentions and a smattering of flat squirrels that could not make up their minds. So, always be decisive.”
Conley added that being successful requires flexibility, adaptability and the ability to recognize opportunities and capitalize on them. He encouraged graduates to develop positive attitudes, to be excited about life, thirst for competition and enthusiastically welcome change. “Failures are not terminal, but opportunities for learning,” he said. “I challenge you to not become one of those people who never fail because they never try much.”
Conley noted that the final attribute of greatness and success is the ability to persist in face of defeat and never quit. Quoting President Calvin Coolidge who said that “pressing on has always solved and always will solve the world’s problems,” Conley added: “I believe it’s that simple. Never ever give up on yourself and your dreams.”
Achieving a dream was also the theme for Bob Firth, chair of the UIU Board of Trustees, who reminded graduates that earning their degree started with their dreams of becoming something more. “It all started right there,” he added. “If you don’t have dreams, you don’t have anything. Go forth now and do good work….represent UIU with honor and pride…..and remember….to whom much is given, much is required….always give back to UIU to help it continue to grow, thrive and to make the education you (as graduates) received here, possible for the others who will come after you.”
UIU President Alan G. Walker noted that each graduate could tell a different story of their journey to college and their years at UIU. Commenting that many non-traditional UIU students had spent their college years balancing family, jobs, and classes, he applauded both traditional and non-traditional graduates, adding: “We hope that the many friendships you have formed will stand the test of time and that you will include among them associations that you have made with our faculty and staff. For just as we have been an important part of your life, you, too, have become an important part of ours.
For more information about 2010 Commencement at Upper Iowa University, go to www.uiu.edu/parents/commencement.html
Monica Bayer Heaton
Executive Director of Communications and Marketing
About Upper Iowa University
Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, not-for-profit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs and leadership development opportunities to over 6,600 students—nationally and internationally—at its Fayette campus and learning centers worldwide. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and independent study. For more information, visit www.uiu.edu.