Branch urges graduates to succeed and to serve

Posted by University News Service

Dec. 15, 2012

State Rep. Dan Branch, chairman of the Texas House Committee on Higher Education, urged the graduating class of Texas State University to appreciate the value of their college education and to use it to help themselves and their nation reach new heights.

Chairman Branch, speaking to graduates of the Texas State colleges of Education and Health Professions at commencement ceremonies Saturday morning (Dec. 15), said their education would always be a “precious asset.”

“In a knowledge-based economy, there is no more important infrastructure than an educated workforce. As graduates from this university, you not only represent the rising stars of Texas, but also a rising tide of bright minds, the human capital that our country must have to maintain our status as a world leader,” he said.

Chairman Branch identified a twofold mission for the new graduates.

“As the newest addition to our state’s academically credentialed adult population, I hope you will make it part of your mission to help more people reach the heights you reach today and be informed, effective participants in the democratic life of our country, helping us to solve the most pressing issues of our time,” he said.

He told the degree candidates that the three secrets to a better life are to begin with the end in mind; to live for the week, not just the weekend; and to live to serve others, not self. He called that philosophy VEO -- standing for Vision, Energy and Others.

Chairman Branch said this is an exciting time to be graduating from Texas State and cited some of the university’s most recent accolades, including being in the race to be the next Tier One university in Texas and the school’s recent designation as an Emerging Research Institution, the elevation of the football program to Football Bowl Subdivision status, and being the second-largest Hispanic Serving Institution in the nation. He also noted that Texas State remains the only university in Texas to have graduated a U.S. President, Lyndon Baines Johnson.

He urged graduates to “Live with intensity. Bring on the adrenaline. Release the endorphins in your brain. Raise the hair on your neck. Reach inside yourself. Dig deep and find that fifth gear.”

Chairman Branch spoke at one of four graduation ceremonies held at Texas State Dec. 14-15. A total of 2,924 students were candidates for bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees this fall at Texas State.