DOTHAN—Award winning auto dealer Mike Schmitz gave a testimony to the power of education Sunday during Troy University’s Dothan Campus commencement.
Schmitz delivered the keynote address during the fall commencement ceremony Sunday at 3 p.m. in the Dothan Civic Center. TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr. presented diplomas to 250 graduates.
Schmitz said that after being adopted from a Des Moines, IA orphanage as a child he struggled academically in school, memorably taking home a report card in the third grade that was “straight Fs.”
Schmitz said he later transferred to a new school. There, a dedicated fifth-grade teacher helped him overcome a speech problem and taught him to read, setting him on a path for success later in life.
“I was walking one way in life, and then I turned and walked another way,” Schmitz said. “I had a teacher who took the time to see who I could be and not who I was at that moment.”
Schmitz encouraged the graduates to set goals in order to be better prepared for life’s challenges.
“Life is not fair—it never has been,” Schmitz said. “You are going to get knocked down. Set goals in everything. It will help you get back up.”
Schmitz, owner of the Mike Schmitz Automotive group, is a 30-veteran of the automotive industry and was named Alabama’s 2008 TIME Quality Dealer Award winner.