Braud offers fall graduates wisdom from the world of social media

Nov 23, 2015 | General News

“We are launching you. Discover your authentic self. Discover who you are really meant to be.”
That was the message from keynote speaker Gerard Braud to 311 new Louisiana Tech University graduates during the school’s 314th commencement exercises Saturday at the Thomas Assembly Center. Braud is the CEO of Braud Communications, a public relations firm that specializes in crisis communications, and Louisiana Tech alumnus.
Gerard Braud addresses the 311 Louisiana Tech graduates during fall commencement.

Gerard Braud addresses the 311 Louisiana Tech graduates during fall commencement.

“Many of those who started Tech with you aren’t here today,” Louisiana Tech President Les Guice said to the graduates. “Despite the challenges you faced, it was you who set goals and worked tirelessly to achieve them. It was you who showed perseverance and dedicated countless hours to study, research and attending class. You have made many memories that will truly last a lifetime. Today is truly a milestone in your life’s journey.”
Guice then turned the podium over to Braud, who started by asking the graduates to acknowledge their family and teachers.
“To begin, we’ll need to give credit where credit is due,” Braud said. “You are here because of the love of your family and the guidance of your faculty. They’re all looking down from the stands right now trying to get your attention or get a photo of you. So I’d like you each to look around for a moment, catch the eye of that special someone, wave to them and as loud as you can, say, ‘Thank you.’”
He then gave the graduates the opportunity to take pre-graduation photos.
“Next, I know each of you is dying to take a selfie, so let’s take a moment to let you take your selfie to get that out of the way. Now on to the work at hand – transitioning you from your place in your seat to your place up here on this stage and then on to your place in life.”
Braud offered some advice for the graduates from all sorts of different people.
“For 30 days, I’ve used social media to reach out to some of the brightest minds on the planet, as well as to ordinary folks who wish to share just a tiny bit of wisdom with you as you embark on the next chapter of your life.”
Some of those remarks included:
• CNN Anchor Brook Baldwin says, “Check your ego at the door.”
• Tech President Les Guice says, “Have a plan for where you are headed, pursue what you love and pursue it with passion, but prepare for change.”
• Sarah Kocian Alzamora, a corporate executive and mother of a special needs child says, “Your life might turn out differently than you planned, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t right where you are supposed to be.”
“These graduates are the MM Generation – the Mobile Millennial Generation,” Braud said prior to his address. “This graduating class has spent 50 percent of their lives on mobile devices with social media. They’ve all experienced the negative aspects of social media. My goal is to harness and share the good as we launch them into the next chapter of their lives.”
During the commencement ceremonies, Brooks Hull, Louisiana Tech’s new Vice President for University Advancement, also presented W. Ray Wallace with the university’s prestigious Tower Medallion Award. The award places Wallace in Louisiana Tech’s Hall of Distinguished Alumni which honors those who have achieved greatly in their professions, in community service, and in humanitarian activity while remaining steadfastly loyal to Louisiana Tech.
Wallace was longtime president, CEO and chairman of the board for Trinity Steel, a Dallas manufacturer of tanks used to store and transport butane and liquefied petroleum gas.
In addition to their diplomas, each graduate received their Tenet Medallions inscribed with the 12 Tenets of Tech and their year of graduation. The Tenets of Tech are guiding principles and personal characteristics that students and graduates are expected to embrace and uphold during and after their time at Louisiana Tech.
Written by T. Scott Boatright –