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As an agriculture student, Theodore Herr knows the importance of care to grow a successful crop. First, you must ensure you are planting your seeds in conditions that enable growth. You must make sure their roots are firmly stationed in the ground, and most importantly you must consistently tend to the crop, tailoring to its needs, and cultivating it to be the best it can be.

Though the Bucyrus, Ohio, native usually works with plants, he explained in his recent student commencement address for the College of Business and Technology that a similar principle applies to his graduating classmates.

Their families, he said, prepared them with years of encouragement, support and guidance. Their friends, who were always a phone call or Starbucks date away, helped them to maintain their roots when the stress of finals and major changes and career decisions overwhelmed them. Most importantly, Herr praised the University faculty, from professors to custodians, who nurtured them, allowing them to grow to their full potential as both students and people.

“Care is the key to education,” said Herr, “and here at Eastern, that shows through every day, as so many community members know your name and show genuine care for you as a person.”

He then asked his audience to think about the future. “We have been cultivated to be leaders, business men and women, and the innovators of tomorrow.  But where do we go from here?”

The answer, said Herr, is going to be different for everyone. Some, like himself, will go on to graduate school, others straight into the workforce. But, he reminded them, no matter what they do, it will be something great.

Herr concluded his remarks by asking one final question: “What legacy will you leave?”

He reminded his classmates that is their turn to give back to the community that has given so much to them. “We now have the opportunity to cultivate our future leaders and nurture them as we have been and will continue to be.”

With one last congratulations, Herr requested his classmates never forget the impact EKU had on their lives.

“As we look to our futures, always remember where you came from and all those who helped cultivate you and guide us on the path we now travel. I know for me personally many of you in this room and here at Eastern will be a huge part of that story.” 

— by Yasmin White, Student Writer, EKU Communications & Brand Management