Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall encouraged Troy University graduates on Friday to demand the best from themselves, to never be afraid to make mistakes and to find time to enjoy life.
Speaking to more than 500 graduates inside Trojan Arena on the Troy Campus, Marshall said the world needs leaders more today than ever before and challenged graduates to work hard and always give their best.
“Get ready to work harder than you have ever worked,” he said. “You may have talent, intuition, and intelligence. None of these will get you very far if they are not blended with hard work. Demand the best from yourself because others will demand that from you. Successful people don’t just give a project hard work, they give it their best work.”
Marshall challenged graduates not to be afraid of taking risks.
“Hardly anyone succeeds if they don’t get out of their personal comfort zone,” he said. “Almost every major breakthrough in business, in science, in medicine and in sports is the result of an individual who took a risk and refused to play it safe. Don’t be afraid to fail or make mistakes because, believe me, you are going to do both. We all do, but we grow smarter and stronger as a result of our failures.”
Marshall stressed the importance of finding time to enjoy life.
“Fun is not limited to the period of your childhood. Adults need play too,” he said. “As you will come to learn as you age, life passes quickly. Find time to have some fun and laughter along the way.”
In closing, Marshall encouraged graduates to serve others and be people of impact.
“Class of 2021, what my years have taught me is that too many times in life we become singularly focused on our needs, our wants and our work. What I have come to learn is this simple proposition, a life well lived is truly much bigger than ourselves,” he said. “My prayer for you is that you come to understand what Winston Churchill once observed, ‘You will make a living by what you get, but you will make a life by what you give.’ As you move forward, embrace the fact that in your life you will have a legacy and make that legacy one of leadership, service and impact.”
Marshall is the state’s 48th attorney general, having been appointed to the position in 2017 by then-Gov. Robert Bentley. Prior to his appointment, he served as Marshall County District Attorney since 2001.
Friday’s ceremony saw students from 24 U.S. states and eight countries outside the United States receive their diplomas.