In the third installment of this semester’s Hayes Lecture series, Gary Sherrer, Emporia State alum, talked about three important lessons he learned during his life.
Five lucky recipients who attended the lecture Oct. 10 in Webb Hall will receive $1,000 scholarships. The scholarships will be awarded based on three essay questions students had to answer online before midnight that night.
“I’m not going to answer the big questions of life, I’m just going to tell you about what I have learned,” Sherrer, said.
The first lesson was that the fear of trying and the fear of failing is an obstacle to success.
“At a debate meeting, a senior girl asked me if I was going to run for student government. I said ‘Oh, I don’t think so’…Finally, she said ‘I’m assuming you are not going to run because you are afraid you are going to lose,’” Sherrer said during the lecture. “She was right. I got elected for student council that fall.”
The next lesson was how attitude can change someone’s life.
“The person in charge of you is you,” Sherrer said. “I can’t make you lie, unreliable, unaccountable…we make those choices – no one else.”
Sherrer delivered his speech with humor, casting out pun-packed lines such as, “As you know, ADD stands for attention deficit – wow, that’s a pretty chandelier.”
Kenton Hallowell, sophomore business major, said he enjoyed getting to laugh during the lecture.
“I just thought it was going to be a boring speech about the do’s and don’ts of life,” Hallowell said. “He actually encouraged us to make mistakes and have fun.”
The third lesson Sherrer explained was that education happens outside of the classroom.
“In all (of) my career, I rarely saw anyone fired because of their talent,” Sherrer said. “I generally saw people get fired because of their inability to get along with others, work as a team or have a positive attitude. You can not just go to class, go to work, go to class. You have to become engaged in the people around you, build relationships and learn from others.”
Sherrer ended the speech by telling students to enjoy their time in college and make mistakes and most importantly to try new things.
According to a university press release, the lecture series, created by alumni Sam Hayes and his wife Jeannene, invites ESU alumni to come and talk about their successes.