Dasinger challenges graduates to make good decisions

Dr. Hank Dasinger delivers the keynote address to graduates on the Montgomery Campus during Monday night's commencement ceremony.

Dr. Hank Dasinger delivers the keynote address to graduates on the Montgomery Campus during Monday night's commencement ceremony.

Dr. Hank Dasinger, who was recently introduced as the new dean of Troy University’s College of Education, challenged graduates at Troy University’s Montgomery Campus to greet this time of transition as an opportunity to make good decisions.

More than 130 graduates took part in the ceremony held Monday night in the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts. In all, nearly 200 students are expected to receive degrees this fall at the Montgomery Campus.

Dr. Dasinger said three decisions – to work hard, to do the right thing and to treat others decently –are often very important in moving forward in life.

“Employees have responsibility to do their jobs and do them well. Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,” he said. “As human beings, we want to accomplish things, but sometimes we are not quite willing to do all that we need to accomplish those results. The question for us tonight is how badly do we want it? Anything worth achieving requires hard work.”

Dr. Dasinger said doing the right thing sounds simple, but it matters tremendously in all areas of life.

“For most of us, it is not the clearly wrong or the clearly right that gives us trouble,” he said. “Our challenge is for the mess in the middle; that gray area of little decisions every day about right and wrong where ambiguity and uncertainty reside. The gray area is that playground for thinking and deciding that if we are not careful becomes a slippery slope of poor choices that can lead to disaster. Be ever watchful. Integrity matters. Do the right thing.”

The third decision, Dasinger said, is to make the conscious effort to treat others decently.

“It is relatively easy to treat decently those who are like us,” he said. “We often give those who are like us the benefit of the doubt because we identify with them. The difficulty is to the extent that someone is fundamentally different from us in important ways; we do not give them the benefit of the doubt. We judge them rather harshly. I think what is important for us to walk away with tonight is that it is only by identifying the things that we share in common as human beings that we have a hope of connecting with one another and treating each other with respect and dignity so that we treat each other decently.”

Named as dean earlier this month, Dr. Dasinger has served as president of Ingram State Technical College, the state’s only educational institution providing postsecondary career and technical education only to incarcerated adults and eligible parolees.

Dr. Dasinger has previously served as a faculty member and counselor in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Leadership, as chief in the Human Relations Division of the Center for Character Development and as director of the Cadet Counseling and Leadership Development Center at the U.S. Air Force Academy.

Following his retirement from active duty in the Air Force, Dr. Dasinger also served in several capacities at Air University, Maxwell Air Force Base, including chief of evaluations and testing and as director, Education and Curriculum at Squadron Officer College; educational advisor to the commander, Squadron Officer College; educational advisor to the commander, Thomas N. Barnes Center for Enlisted Education; and chief academic affairs before being named president at Ingram State.