Petrus encourages Louisiana Tech graduates to “be open, err on the side of kindness”

Mar 7, 2015 | General News

Being open was the charge presented to 322 graduates of Louisiana Tech University by keynote speaker Tim Petrus during Saturday’s winter quarter graduation, the 311th commencement exercises held at the university.
Tim Petrus addresses graduates during 2015 winter commencement.

Tim Petrus addresses graduates during 2015 winter commencement.

Petrus, a 1976 Louisiana Tech graduate and executive vice president and general partner of Morning Star Partners oil and gas company in Fort Worth, Texas, told those in attendance at the Thomas Assembly Center that having an open mind, open ears and being open to helping others are the keys to succeeding in all ambitions.
“Always keep an open mind,” Petrus said. “Open to new ideas, open to new opportunities, open to new ways of doing things. The pace of change in our world continues to accelerate. Just 20 years ago we were learning about his strange new thing called the Internet. Now we can’t imagine our lives without it. The only thing more certain than death or taxes is that 20 years from now we won’t be doing things the same way we are today. Will Rogers, the great writer, once said, ‘Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over just sitting there.’ Most of you will change jobs and even professions multiple times in your careers. By keeping an open mind, embracing change and being willing to take risks your value and the number of opportunities presented to you will increase.
Louisiana Tech's 322 winter quarter graduates.

Louisiana Tech’s 322 winter quarter graduates.

“And when in doubt, always err on the side of kindness. Work hard, but have fun doing it, too.”
Keeping your ears open is another crucial factor in finding success according to Petrus.
“Your willingness to listen is another important facet,” Petrus said. “Everyone in your organization, and in your life, has important ideas and concerns that they need to share. Listening to their input provides important components you can draw from.”
Petrus said being open to giving back is maybe most important of all.
“It’s also important to give back,” Petrus said. “Wherever you go, leave that place a little better than you found it. Whether it’s in public service or nonprofit civic organizations, or volunteering in church or school, nothing is more important than giving your time and talent. I can tell you from my own experiences that you will receive much more than you ever give. … One of the greatest paradoxes of life is that selflessness is the best thing you can do for yourself.
“As you consider how you give back, I hope you remember Louisiana Tech. President (Les) Guice has developed an exciting plan for growing and improving our university. These goals can only be achieved with our support, no matter how large or small. Let’s give all of those who follow us the same chance we had for a first-class, cost-effective education.”
Petrus also told the graduates to remember two important words.
“I want you to never forget the two most powerful words in the English language — thank you,” Petrus said. “So many people touch our lives every day and ask for nothing in return. To the administration here — thank you. For the all the faculty and staff who give so much to the students here — thank you.”
Guice told the graduates it was a day to treasure for the rest of their lives.
“Many of those who began their college careers with you are not here today,” Guice said. “You set goals and you devoted yourself to countless hours of studies and research. You’ve made friendships that will last a lifetime and created incredible lasting memories of your time at Louisiana Tech. As you move on in life, you’ll forget many of the details from this ceremony, but you’ll never forget this day.”
Among the 322 Louisiana Tech winter quarter graduates, there were three who earned a 4.0 grade point average during their studies. College of Education graduate Kay Camille Nelson of Lake Charles, and College of Liberal Arts graduates Jessica Ann Houte of Mandeville and Scott Gary Schreck of Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania, were recognized by Guice for achieving perfect GPAs in their respective degree programs.
Winter commencement officially ends the winter quarter at Louisiana Tech with spring quarter classes schedule to begin March 11.
Written by T. Scott Boatright –