Dr. James F. Vickrey urges TROY graduates to affirm core values

Posted: Wednesday, 16 December 2009

MONTGOMERY—Dr. James F. Vickrey, a Troy University professor and former president of the University of Montevallo, urged TROY Montgomery Campus graduates to affirm their core values each day.

Vickrey delivered the keynote address during fall commencement on Tuesday, Dec. 15, inside the Davis Theatre for the Performing Arts. TROY Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. conferred more than 150 graduate and undergraduate degrees during the ceremony.

Vickrey said movies helped shape his values growing up. He reminded graduates that the Davis Theatre was once the Paramount Theater, and it was while watching movies in the Paramount that he saw dramatizations of the values graduates should strive to affirm everyday.

“By ‘values’ I mean both terminal values such as happiness, peace and security as well as such instrumental values as ambition, confidence and courage,” Vickrey said. “I was regularly reminded of them here.”

Echoing the mantra of best-selling author Stephen Covey, Vickrey advised graduates to begin planning for the future “with the end in mind.”

“For example, if any of you should go to law school think first, ‘What do I need to know to pass the Alabama Bar Exam and to begin the practice of law?’” Vickrey said.

Finally, he advised graduates that success starts with effective, efficient and ethical communication.

“Research shows that employers hire and promote primarily on the basis of an employee’s communication skills, beginning with first job interview,” Vickrey said.

Dr. Vickrey has been a professor of speech communication at TROY since 1991. Before coming to TROY, he served as a professor and president of the University of Montevallo from 1980 to 1987.

He hosts a weekly commentary on movies that airs on Troy University Public Radio.

Dr. James F. Vickrey

Dr. James F. Vickrey, a Troy University professor and former president of the University of Montevallo, delivers the keynote address to graduates at Troy University’s Montgomery Campus during the fall commencement ceremony on Tuesday, Dec. 15. More 150 students earned graduate and undergraduate degrees this semester at the Montgomery Campus. (TROY photo/Matt Clower)