Samford University President Andrew Westmoreland, who will retire as the university’s 18th president at the end of the academic year, spoke at three of Samford’s commencement ceremonies this spring.
Over the course of the three commencements, he imparted nine lessons, three at each ceremony.
“These nine points reflect the things I have tried to understand over the 42 years of my career in higher education. They are incredibly simple yet difficult to follow. Remember, as I mention them to you this morning, I am preaching to myself, as well as you,” he said.
- I need to respect everyone.
- I need to take a walk when I’m stressed, even if it is raining and — perhaps, especially if it is raining.
- I need to remember to trust the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding.
- I need to listen carefully.
- I need to guard and limit my own speech, spoken or written.
- I need to extend grace to others, even if I feel I have not received grace from them.
- I need to apologize- quickly and without qualifying conditions when I have been wrong or have hurt someone.
- I need to recognize that the loneliness I sometimes feel is actually shared by everyone.
- I need to find happiness in the fleeting moments of the day.
Westmoreland encouraged the graduates to remember these lessons.
“Do these things and when you are old, your lives will be fulfilled, your families will be happier and maybe, just maybe, the world will be better for it.”