Scott Bigelow | 910.521.6351 | email@example.com
University Communications and Marketing
Friday, November 2, 2007
Alumni Association entertains UNCP’s December grads
It’s been four years or more since the Alumni Association offered free slices of pizza to welcome these students as freshmen to the University of North Carolina at Pembroke.
Keynote speaker Paul Willoughby ‘73
At the Alumni Association’s Senior Brunch on October 17, there were memories to look back on and a wide open future waiting for these soon-to-be graduates. Asked about their memories of college, some students like Rafael Torres, a senior from Fayetteville, N.C., was already looking ahead.
“Favorite memory?” he said. “When I am commissioned in December as an officer in the Army.”
Some future graduates looked back, some forward and some stood at the crossroads of the past and future.
Paul Willoughby, a 1973 graduate and successful McDonald’s restaurant franchisee in the Triangle, offered some thoughts to go forward with.
Seniors – From left: Lisa Allen, Kim McNeill, Brandon Charles McClain and Michael McMillan
“Yes, there will be situations you will face in the future,” he said.
A former teacher, football coach and corporate executive from Lumberton, N.C., Willoughby advised that success is not an accident, and it will require self discipline, perseverance and continuing personal growth.
Willoughby urged the seniors to associate with positive people who will set the right tone for their lives and open doors for them.
“As young people, you are who you run with, and a product of you environment,” he said.
He also encouraged the students to set goals.
“If you don’t know where you want to be in five years, you will end up right back where you are,” Willoughby said. “There are no quick fixes. Be patient and pay the price to get from the bottom, where I started, to the top.”
Seniors – From left: Don Woods, Stephanie Aliscea, Dwight Humphrey, Salyna Dvorovy and Rafael Torres
The near-grads also heard from Chancellor Allen C. Meadors, SGA President Dwight Humphrey, Career Center Assistant Director Sarah Francisco, Dean of the School of Graduate Studies Dr. Kathleen Hilton, Alumni Association board member Sylvia Pate, Vice Chancellor for Advancement Sandy Waterkotte and Alumni Director James Bass.
Chancellor Meadors said a college education will always be with the graduates.
“You’ve earned it, and you should feel really good about being here today,” Dr. Meadors said. “You look at things differently today because you’re mind has been stretched.”
“That’s something that nobody can take away,” he concluded.
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