'You will decide what your life will be,' speaker tells UIU Class of 2015

Commencement speaker

Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Roger Schultz

FAYETTE, Iowa (May 9, 2015) – Lt. Gen. (Ret.) Roger Schultz, 1989 graduate of Upper Iowa University, spoke to this year's graduating class during two commencement ceremonies on Saturday, May 9.

The LeMars, Iowa, native told the UIU graduates that college and life are about "choices and what we elect to do with our lives."

Quoting American industrialist Henry Ford, Schultz said: "Whether you think you can or whether you think you can't.  You're right."

Schultz told graduates of times in history and in his own life when decisions changed lives forever.  "I wasn't always a three-star general," he said. "I was a 17-year-old college freshman when the Army told me I had three days to report to Fort Benning.  And when I returned from Vietnam, I accomplished some of my goals and had a busy life; but a piece was missing -- I had no degree. I was told that if I didn't get a degree, my career was over.  I contacted Upper Iowa University, and it changed my life permanently.  One day I was in an accounting class getting help from my professor; eight years later, I'm responsible for a multi-billion-dollar budget using principles I learned at Upper Iowa."

General Schultz spent 42 years in military service and in the National Guard, advancing from enlisted soldier to Army National Guard director in 1998. He retired from the military in 2005 to work in the private sector. Schultz, who also graduated from the U.S. Army War College and earned a masters degree from Shippensburg State University, was recently approved as president of the Army Historical Foundation

"Do something with your life. Take advantage of the skills you have.  Reach out and help others who may be shy," he told UIU students. "People went out of their way to help me when I didn't have the confidence to do the things I'm talking about today. You can do the same and lead others no matter your official role in life."

Upper Iowa University held two outdoor commencement ceremonies Saturday May 9 in Harms-Eischeid Stadium. In 2015, about 1,750 students earned associate, bachelor's or master's degrees from UIU. Of those, 215 graduated from the Fayette location, some 885 completed their degree at a U.S. center, 338 graduated through online or self-paced study programs, and 270 were from the international centers in Hong Kong and Malaysia. UIU is one of the most diverse universities in Iowa. In all, the graduates represented 45 states and 18 nations.

About Upper Iowa University Founded in 1857, Upper Iowa University is a private, nonprofit university providing undergraduate and graduate degree programs to about 5,200 students–nationally and internationally–at its Fayette campus, 21 U.S. locations, as well as a location in Hong Kong. Upper Iowa University is a recognized innovator in offering accredited, quality programs through flexible, multiple delivery systems, including online and self-paced degree program. With a focus on developing leaders and lifelong learners, UIU provides dual enrollment programs for high school students as well as continuing education and professional development opportunities for learners of any age. For more information, visit uiu.edu.

Michael Van Sickle
Editorial Services Director
Office of Communication and Marketing
Phone 563-425-5326