COLUMBUS, Ga. - Phenix City Schools Superintendent Randy Wilkes urged Troy University graduates on Friday, Jan. 23, in Columbus to always do things "the right way."
Wilkes, a TROY alumnus and member of the University's 1987 national champion football team, delivered the keynote address during a joint commencement ceremony for graduates from the Phenix City Campus and the Columbus/Fort Benning Site. About 160 graduates were recognized during the event, which was held at 7 p.m. inside the Columbus Civic Center.
Sharing keys to successful living, Wilkes said graduates should "first in life, no matter the circumstances, do everything the right way."
"Do everything the right way" was the signage above the Troy State University weight room in the mid-eighties, Wilkes said, and the adage influenced all of the team's activities.
"The ultimate end product of doing everything the right way was the 1987 national championship, which was obtained by a group of overachievers," Wilkes said.
Wilkes told graduates to always do the right thing no matter what other people think about it.
"As you do things the right way, know this, what others think of you is none of your business," Wilkes said. "In this world, you cannot please everyone, nor should you attempt to please everyone."
Wilkes urged graduates to be kind, show gratitude, choose their friends wisely and take ownership of their lives.
"Own your life, own who you are, and you will own who you will become," Wilkes said.
Wilkes was appointed Superintendent of Phenix City Schools on July 1, 2014, and recently unveiled the system's middle school revitalization efforts dubbed the i3 Project, standing for inquiry, innovation and impact. He received his Bachelors of Science Degree in 1989 and Master's Degree in 1993, both from TROY in the field of mathematics. He presently serves on the Board of Directors for the National Alumni Association.
Phenix City Schools Superintendent Randy Wilkes delivers the keynote address to Troy University graduates on Friday, Jan. 23, during a joint commencement ceremony for graduates from the Phenix City Campus and the Columbus/Fort Benning Site. About 160 graduates were recognized during the event, which was held at 7 p.m. inside the Columbus Civic Center. (TROY photo/Kevin Glackmeyer)