Orr encourages TROY graduates to seek to make a lasting difference

State Sen. Arthur Orr delivers the keynote address during the first of two commencement ceremonies held for TROY graduates on Friday.

State Sen. Arthur Orr delivers the keynote address during the first of two commencement ceremonies held for TROY graduates on Friday.

State Sen. Arthur Orr encouraged Troy University graduates on Friday to reflect more, risk more and seek to accomplish matters of lasting importance.

Sen. Orr spoke to two ceremonies inside Trojan Arena at the Troy Campus on Friday. More than 1,000 students received their degrees across both ceremonies.

Sen. Orr referenced a poll that asked people in their 80s: if you had to live life over again, what would you do differently? The pollsters pulled three themes from the answers they received – reflect more, risk more and seek to accomplish matters of lasting importance.

“We live in a busy society. Life will always find a way to keep you busy, but it is your responsibility to take time to know where you are headed, take time to get away, take time to evaluate your purpose on this planet,” Sen. Orr said. “Don’t just drift in the cultural flow. Take time to reflect on where you have been and where you want to go in life.”

Citing examples such as Abraham Lincoln, who failed in many election attempts before being elected President in 1860, and basketball legend Michael Jordan, who was cut from his high school basketball team at one point, Sen. Orr encouraged graduates to continue to take risks even in the face of challenges.

“Without risk there can be no meaningful gain. Man is at his most vulnerable state when he risks leaving himself open to change but also open to growth,” he said. “Why don’t we risk? Fear. Fear of failure, fear of what others would think, fear of losing what we already have. We live in the greatest country in the world where risk is rewarded and those who are determined and persevere find success.”

Orr quoted Sir Winston Churchill, saying “You make a living by what you get, but you make a life by what you give,” and encouraged graduates to seek to make a lasting difference in life.

“We live in a culture that says the more money you have the happier you will be, but you and I know that it is by giving, not getting that you achieve contentment and peace,” he said. “It is better to give than to receive. If you give of your time, your talent, your treasure to others and for others, you can and will accomplish matters of lasting importance.”

In closing, Orr reminded graduates that they had been blessed to be a blessing to others.  

“As a college graduate, you have something that only 7 percent of the world’s population has, and for you graduate students out there, it is the top 1 percent of the world’s population,” he said. “What an elite group you are today in the world. Graduates, my challenge to you today is to earn the sacrifices of those who went before you and for those who paid dearly for the freedoms we enjoy. I challenge you to live a life well lived with no regrets by hearkening to the wisdom of our seniors to reflect more, risk more and seek to achieve matters of lasting importance.”

Sen. Orr, who represents Morgan, Madison, and Limestone counties in the Alabama Senate, was first elected in 2006. Since then, Sen. Orr has sponsored and passed legislation to address the high school student drop-out rate, put the state’s checkbook online, improve campaign finance reporting, remove racist language from the state constitution, and support volunteer firefighters and free medical clinics. He serves as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance and Taxation Education.

He was instrumental in the formation and development of the Robotics Technology Park, The Alabama Center for the Arts, and the Alabama School for Cyber Technology and Engineering.

FacebookTwitterPinterestLinkedIn