Yesterday, in between worship services, we went to the University of Alabama in Huntsville’s (UAH) 51st Commencement. A close family member graduated from college. We are so proud of him! Congratulations SR! You did it!
The music was provided by the UAH Wind Ensemble and the U.S. Army Materiel Command Band, combined. They played several selections from “the Wizard of Oz” while we waited to commence. They also played the National Anthem and, of course, Pomp and Circumstance. I’ve always liked Pomp and Circumstance. It’s such a stately piece, and it reminds me of my own college graduation and the excitement that I felt back then.
UAH had a very good speaker who was cognizant of our ability to listen to a speech on 2 p.m. Sunday afternoon.
Both likable and astute, the speaker was General Dennis L. Via, a 4-Star General of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. General Via and his wife, Linda, have been married for 35 years and have two sons. I jotted down General Via’s keys to success on the back of my program.
General Dennis L. Via’s Keys to Success for the Graduate:
1. Believe in yourself and your capabilities. (For example, Wernher von Braun’s goal was to take humans to the moon, and we did just that.)
2. Success requires hard work, persistence, and patience. (Thomas Edison “failed” 999 times in trying to invent the light bulb…but eventually he succeeded.)
3. Accept responsibility.
4. Be adaptive, innovative, and continue to change.
5. Develop and nurture your character. (Stay true to who you are and what you believe. Maintain your moral compass. Never compromise your integrity. Be a good worker, friend, and co-worker. Be the person you want others to be.)