Keynote speaker serenades students at convocation

Sarah Graves

University President Suzanne Shipley gives a motivational speech about “Carpe Diem” and how we need to use the events that are happening at the universities further south that have been effected by Hurricane Harvey and that we should seize the moment since others students arent getting to. Photo by Rachel Johnson

Silence echoed in the D. L. Ligon Coliseum, as anticipation and curiosity filled students about keynote speaker, Preston Pugmire’s next moves. After dropping a beat, Pugmire incorporated his musical passion with encouraging students to listen, to be positive and to be authentic.

On Aug. 29 the new student 2017 Convocation welcomed incoming students to MSU and encouraged them to seize the day by believing in themselves.

“This is your day. You may think that you have years and years to experience things, but unless you seize these opportunities and seize this day, it will just go past you and you’ll look back and say, “Why didn’t I do that?'” MSU President, Suzanne Shipley said. “You have a double duty to think about the person you can become in college because you are right here right now.”

After Shipley’s introduction, Pugmire took the stage and continued on her carpe diem encouragement, telling students to seize the day by being themselves and listening to others.

“Believe that your ideas matter. Believe that your goals are worth achieving. Believe that you matter,” he said. “If you believe these things and show up in an authentic way, meaning you don’t try to be something your not for that person and not try to put on a wall or mask or something like that, you’re authentic.”

Pugmire said college is a time for students to branch out and find their paths in life. As example of how noise isn’t always music, Pugmire invited three students to the stage.

“This was really cool. I was nervous when I got up there to do the thing because I didn’t think he would pick me,” Dunlap said. “I thought, ‘He won’t pick me there will be other people,’ but I was the only one that raised my hand. I’m glad I did it because carpe diem.”

Each student had a job to do, Chloe Dunlap, music education freshman had to sing, KJ Melton, mechanical engineering freshman had to beatbox and Patrick Sarsfield, finance freshman had to play the guitar. They each participated to create two songs. According to Melton the first song would not go platinum because they failed to listen to each other. However in the following song, each band member listened and created what Pugmire called music.

“I learned to be more positive and I need to listen to other people more. I just just enjoyed this overall,” Melton said. “I really do need to be more positive in my life, so I’m really glad he brought that up. I really appreciated that.”

Between bringing students on stage and motivating students, Pugmire walked through the crowd in the stands, while singing ‘A Part of Your World’ from Walt Disney’s The Little Mermaid, and provided a one man band concert.

“I thought he was a pretty good singer and I liked the little device that he recorded stuff on,” Toby Crowley, computer science freshman said. “I’m glad that I came because I almost didn’t.”

Pugmire concluded his speech with one final encouragement to be authentic, followed by another song.

“You are going to have so many opportunities to find you and find your path. Don’t be afraid to switch it up. Don’t be afraid to go down a different path,” he said. “Make sure it’s authentic to you. When you are authentic, when you listen to other people, when you show up in a positive way, the harmony and the music you can create in your entire life is incredible.”