Run Your Own Race
By:Dante’ James, Taylor Tolbert, and Tanuke Smith
Two powerful messages echoed across Sawyer Auditorium during Texas Southern University’s Founders Day as the President and keynote speaker challenged each person in attendance to take pride in the historic institution.
However, before the keynote address was delivered, TSU’s 12th President, Dr. Austin A. Lane, opened the ceremony with a challenge to himself, the administrative team, and all other individuals who support the class of 2020 to do their part to ensure everyone in the class makes it across the stage in four years.
President Lane spoke of a strategy to ensure student’s success by increasing TSU’s faculty in the Spring 2017 semester and also by working with the guidance teams to avoid enrolling students in unnecessary courses. Students will only take classes required by their degree plan.
President Lane also ensured he will make himself more available to the student body and become more visible around the campus.
Dr. Michael Bowie applauded President Lane and encouraged students to keep TSU’s rich legacy going. Bowie spoke of TSU’s history and how it is a result of insurmountable odds.
“Don’t take your enrollment here at Texas Southern for granted, we are here today because there are those who have fought, sweat, and struggled for an institution they love,” said Bowie.
Bowie urged the students in the class of 2020 to stay in their own lane then spoke of his experiences at TSU.
“I was distracted by things on the yard; I was focused on when the next party was. I was so distracted by the wrong things that I found myself veering out of my own lane and I found myself ending up in this place called ‘academic probation’,” said Bowie.
“Students you don’t want to go to that place but if you stay in your lane, stay focused, you will achieve what God has for you. At the end of the day seek to run your own race.” Bowie said.
Bowie spoke on the importance of running and finishing your race, persevering through distractions and challenges.
“No one can out beat you being you,” said Bowie
This resonated with the TSU student community, in particular, Chastity Robinson, a business management major.
“You can’t worry about other people. I’m on the track to be a five-year graduate and so you see other people graduating on time and you probably get discouraged but you know that’s not your race and that’s not what it’s about,” said Robinson
Howard, an Environmental Health and Science major, was also inspired by Founders Day.
“Attending an HBCU is pivotal so I chose to come to TSU purposely. I got accepted at the University of Houston and at Rice University but I chose TSU because I wanted to show honor toward my heritage,” said Howard.
This year’s Founders Day event reminded those in attendance that the university’s pioneers faced many struggles before TSU could become what it has so prominently become today and also focused on the importance hard work, dedication, and teamwork among the university community.