Spring 2024 graduates receive hearty and healthy life advice at commencement

May 26, 2024 | Alumni, General News, Students

Spring Commencement 2024The “total Louisiana Tech graduates” tally climbed to 114,892 on Saturday when 1,076 new Tech alumni and their friends and families gathered in the Thomas Assembly Center for two full-length ceremonies to cap off the academic year.

The keynote speaker for both the morning and afternoon ceremonies was Frank Bright, a Class of ’65 chemical engineering graduate and four-year letterman in Tech track and cross country. Bright has run over 20 Boston Marathons (placing fourth and fifth respectively in his 80+ age group the past two races), hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back this month, and logged more than 62,200 miles collectively since 1979, the year he started tracking his running in a journal.

He made sure to give his address a structure and tone apt for such a disciplined individual and focused on making three main points to the graduates in attendance:

“Follow your bliss.”
“Stay physically fit.”
“Life isn’t fair.”

He followed each piece of advice with anecdotes from his life, from stories of pursuing his passions throughout law school to taking care of his health into his eighties.

Bright hammered home his advice with some audience participation, encouraging the crowd to repeat his key points back to him, and he repeatedly advised students to keep a journal as he had, calling the suggestion “point 2.5” of his main ideas.

“I’m truly grateful for this opportunity to speak to you today,” said Bright at the end of his address. “Congratulations and best wishes in your future endeavors.”

The ceremonies were the first in-person commencement experiences for most of the graduates in attendance; COVID forced many 2020 high school graduations to take place virtually.

Tech President Jim Henderson pointed out that this was a special occasion for the students, and each ceremony was punctuated with an energetic touch as the arena lights flashed red and blue and streamers rained down on the celebrating crowd. Maybe more than any commencement prior—or any to follow—this will be one to remember for Louisiana Tech’s Class of 2024.