Summer 2008
Summer 2008
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Positive Attitude – Former Oklahoma State football player returns to TROY to share his inspirational message

Martel VanZant Martel VanZant

The last time Oklahoma State University cornerback Martel Van Zant visited Troy University, it was last Sept. 14, playing before one of the largest crowds in Movie Gallery Veterans Stadium history.

In April, Van Zant returned to TROY not to play football but to address a smaller but intense crowd gathered in Claudia Crosby Theater for the 13th annual Helen Keller Lecture. His message: teamwork, attitude and leadership are cornerstones to overcoming adversity.

“A good attitude reflects yourself on others,” said Van Zant, who is deaf and speaks with the aid of sign language interpreter Allie Lee. “If you have a good attitude toward someone, they will continue with that attitude toward others.”

The program also included the musical talents of Josh McInnish, an eighth grader at Ashford High School who plays percussion for the marching band.

McInnish was born legally blind and has undergone approximately 20 surgeries.

The Helen Keller lecture is designed to promote awareness of people who excel in their chosen fields despite physical and/or mental limitations.

The lecture is co-sponsored by TROY, the Alabama Department of Education, the Alabama Institute for the Deaf and Blind, the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services, the Helen Keller Foundation for Research and Education, the Janice Capilouto Center for the Deaf/Easter Seals and the Alabama Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation.

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