TROY - Troy University alumnus and NFL Network news update anchor Patrick Claybon on Sunday encouraged incoming students to utilize their time at TROY to become the better versions of themselves.
Claybon delivered the keynote address at the University's annual Odyssey Convocation for New Students inside Trojan Arena. The Odyssey Convocation signals the kickoff of the academic year for incoming freshmen students. Classes on the Troy Campus begin on Wednesday.
"This week you are going to be as lost as you can possibly be," Claybon told the gathering. "It is a part of the process and part of the journey. At this point in your life, you begin the process of understanding what this place can do and what these people around you can do to make you the best person you can be. You begin the journey to find yourself at Troy University."
Claybon told students their TROY experience can be transformative.
"I would venture to guess that you know yourself better than anyone else in the world, but at some point you are going to really meet yourself here," he said. "You are going to see that your experiences and your relationships with the people around you are going to add up to make a new version of you."
Claybon challenged students to be themselves and share who they are with others.
"If you approach this college experience with an open mind and an open heart, you can be anything," he said. "You don't have to fit into some box that people want you to fit into…you can be you. As long as you get that across to the people around you, then they can understand you. It's easy once we all understand each other. Breathe yourself into as many people as you can here at TROY. And remember, you're not a finished product; it is the most important thing I learned at Troy University. The most important subject to master at Troy University is to become an expert at you."
Claybon graduated from TROY in 2006 with a bachelor's degree in broadcast journalism, where he was involved with the award-winning TrojanVision news team. He also served as a resident assistant and participated actively in intramural sports.
In 2007, Claybon joined WTVY News 4 in Dothan as a reporter. He later became sports director and anchor at WTVY, before moving to WIAT TV in his hometown of Birmingham for the same position. Claybon joined the NFL Network in October 2014.
To view video highlights of Sunday's Odyssey Convocation, visit our YouTube channel.
Troy University's Sound of the South performs during Sunday's Odyssey Convocation for New Students in Trojan Arena.
Members of a record-breaking freshman class takes part in Sunday's Odyssey Convocation for New Students, which included remarks from Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., Chancellor; Dr. Earl Ingram, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs; Heath Barton, SGA President; Todd Watson, Director of Football Operations and High School Relations; and a keynote address from alumnus Patrick Claybon. Dr. Hal Fulmer, Associate Provost and Dean of Undergraduate and First Year Studies, served as emcee for the event.