TROY - Troy University alumnus and two-time Super Bowl champion Lawrence Tynes encouraged graduates on the Troy Campus on Friday to challenge themselves and not be afraid of failure.
Tynes, who played professionally for 13 years including nine in the NFL, delivered the keynote address at Friday's summer commencement ceremony inside Trojan Arena on the Troy Campus. Nearly 350 students representing 25 states and six nations received degrees.
"Don't be afraid to fail. It is often in times of failure that you learn the most," Tynes said. "Challenge yourself and don't be afraid to step outside the box. Take advantage of every opportunity. Opportunities are not lost because someone else will always take them."
Tynes said he was fortunate to play for many coaches and with many teammates throughout his career that served as examples for the importance of preparation.
"Always be prepared and always be accountable," he told the graduates. "It is easy to do the right things when everything is going well. The challenge is how you respond when things are not going your way. If you prepare properly, you are going to have confidence in your ability. And always remember, if you don't believe in yourself, nobody else will."
Tynes, who was inducted into the TROY Sports Hall of Fame in 2013, was a team captain for the Trojans in 1999 and 2000. He spent six seasons with the New York Giants, and holds the distinction as the only National Football League kicker in history with two playoff game-winning field goals in overtime to put the Giants into the Super Bowl. He has been a member of two Giants Super Bowl-winning teams.
In 2014, Tynes became senior vice president at Wheels Up, a New York-based private aviation membership company where he leads membership sales in a seven-state region. He was joined at Friday's commencement ceremony by his wife, Amanda, their twin sons Jaden and Caleb, and his father, Larry, a retired Navy SEAL.