Alumnus and Super Bowl champion DeMarcus Ware encouraged Troy University graduates on Friday to use the education they have received to better themselves and society.
Ware delivered the keynote address during fall commencement ceremonies in Trojan Arena on the Troy Campus and was presented with an honorary doctorate of laws degree. More than 600 graduates, representing 23 states, the District of Columbia and 14 different nations, took part in the ceremony.
“TROY teaches us to seize the moment and take everything we have learned here to better ourselves and our society,” Ware said. “The people at Troy University taught me that failure is a stepping stone on the road to success. You need to remember that. It is how you react to those failures that will determine your greatness. I learned great lessons from the faculty in the Sorrell College of Business that taught me I had to believe in myself and that proper preparation instills confidence. In the strength room, I was taught that if you prepare harder than anyone else, you will be better than anyone else.”
Ware encouraged graduates to be courageous as they enter this next phase of life.
“Seizing every moment requires courage — courage to face challenges and adversity and courage to face ourselves, day in and day out, to be and do our best,” Ware said. “TROY has instilled this championship mentality in each one of you, preparing you to be ready for the world that is out there. You’ve already put the work in, so go out there and knock those doors down.”
Among the graduating class on Friday was Sara Shoffner, who became the first graduate in the University’s history to receive a doctor of philosophy degree. Shoffner is the first student to complete the Ph.D. in Sport Management, which TROY was approved to offer in 2014. It is TROY’s first doctor of philosophy degree program, but is the University’s second doctoral-level degree, following the launch of the Doctor of Nursing Practice program.