TROY - Max Roberts, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble College, credits successes in his life to choosing good mentors.
He challenged Troy University students attending Monday night's Honors Convocation to do the same.
"Your success, probably like mine, will be defined by those you surround yourself with and by those select few you choose to learn from," Roberts told the gathering at Claudia Crosby Theater on the Troy Campus. "Some will cross your lives through destiny, sometimes the mentoring process will not be so apparent and sometimes it will be in exchange or bartered. But, in all cases, you will have the choice to continue or not continue and to make it an opportunity. In most cases, it will be hard work, but again the choice is always yours and the benefits may not always be clear at the time and in many cases involves risks."
Roberts, who joined Barnes & Noble in 1996, congratulated the students on their academic success and encouraged them to become lifelong learners.
"I truly applaud your success and hope my experiences will help you define success not by financial wealth, but by being a lifelong learner, by surrounding yourself with people who lift you up, who inspire you, who take the time to share their knowledge to invest in your future," he said. "In my career that translated into a very simple tenet that truly was the catalyst for my accomplishments -- find and pick good mentors. By doing so, you will not only graduate from college with honors but will graduate life with honors."
The annual Honors Convocation recognized students from each of the University's five colleges for their achievements, including those inducted into various honors societies.
Ellis Bush, lecturer in the University's Institute for Leadership Development, received the Ingalls Award for Excellence in Classroom Teaching. The award is given annually to the teacher on the Troy Campus who has "most diligently, effectively and cheerfully conducted his or her classes during the current academic year." Students nominate faculty members for the award, and a committee of students and faculty advisors select the recipient. The award consists of a statue of Socrates, a plaque and a check for $1,000.
Bush also was the non-student recipient of the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award, which is presented at select colleges and universities throughout the United States to recognize recipients for their excellence of character, humanitarian service and spiritual qualities. The award is given to a male and female student and a non-student. Student recipients of the Sullivan Awards were Thomas Brett Blevins, a senior sport and fitness management major from Florence, and Aubrey Toole, a senior biology major from Pace, Fla.
Dr. Dayna McDaniel, who teaches in the Master of Public Administration program, was honored with the Faculty Senate's Excellence Award.
Honors Convocation photo gallery - troy.edu/troy