MONTGOMERY – Author and community leader Rod Frazer encouraged Troy University graduates to use Monday night’s commencement ceremony on the Montgomery Campus as a starting point for lifelong learning.
Frazer delivered the keynote address during the ceremony, which took place in the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts. Nearly 170 students received degrees this spring at the Montgomery Campus.
“By tonight you have learned that the real glory of learning is the handmaiden of struggle. You know and understand that with the greatest struggle comes the greatest reward, the greatest sense of accomplishment and the greatest joy and pride in your own hard work,” Frazer said.
Frazer told graduates that commencement represented a beginning rather than an endpoint.
“I would be less than honest if I failed to tell you that your personal fight has just begun,” Frazer said. “No matter age or station, you have just started. Don’t let tonight be an end game as far as your education is concerned. Up until now, most of your learning has taken place in the confines of the classroom. From now on you will find in your life experiences opportunity to learn valuable lessons.”
A native of Montgomery, Frazer was chairman of the board and co-founder of The Frazer Lanier Company, and later led the Enstar Group, Inc., increasing its net worth by more than $400 million. He is a 1954 graduate of Huntingdon College and earned his Master of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1956. He is a member of the Alabama Business Hall of Fame.
A tank platoon leader in the Korean War, Frazer was decorated with a Silver Star for Gallantry in Action.
In 2005, Frazer became a founder and benefactor of the Croix Rouge Farm Memorial Foundation that commemorates the role and service of the 167th (Alabama) Infantry Regiment, a National Guard unit of the 42nd “Rainbow” Division of World War I. The memorial is located on the site of the Battle of Croix Rouge Farm in Fère-en-Tardenois, close to Château-Thierry, in France.
In 2014, Frazer’s book “Send the Alabamians: World War I Fighters in the Rainbow Division” was published by the University of Alabama Press, recounting the story of the 167th Infantry Regiment of World War I’s Rainbow Division from their recruitment to their valiant service on the battlefields of eastern France in the final months of the war.