Hayes to Penn State DuBois Graduates: 'Be Leaders for a More Perfect Tomorrow'
DuBois – Samuel Hayes, Jr. challenged Penn State DuBois graduates to take the reigns and steer society toward a more perfect tomorrow during his commencement address in the campus gymnasium on Saturday. Hayes is a member of the Penn State University Board of Trustees, former state Secretary of Agriculture, and former member of the State House of Representatives.
"You must take what is imperfect today and make it more perfect tomorrow," Hayes said to the crowd in the standing-room only gymnasium. "This will take leadership. You must be a leader for a more perfect tomorrow."
Nearly 200 graduates have joined the ranks of Penn State DuBois Alumni in the class of 2010-2011. Hayes congratulated them on earning their various associate, bachelor, and master degrees, but also urged them to accept their new distinction with a sense of responsibility.
"As Penn State grads, you represent a tradition, a brand. You represent something special," he said. "You have an obligation to do more than just occupy some position of success in life. You have an obligation to make a more perfect world; that will take more than college credits."
Hayes went on to encourage graduates to lead others to success and transformation. He said, "You must be a leader with a vision, an agent of change. You must be proactive, set priorities, and push boundaries. You must influence others to work for a better world. Others and the world depend on you."
As a member of the Penn State University Board of Trustees, Hayes is responsible, in part, for the overall management of Penn State. The Board of Trustees is the corporate body of Penn State, which has complete responsibility for the governance and welfare of the university and all of its interests, including students, faculty, staff and alumni. Hayes was appointed to the Board of Trustees as a representative of the Agricultural Societies in March, 2003. He previously served on the Board of Trustees from June of 1997 to January of 2003 in his role as the Pennsylvania Secretary of Agriculture.
A former legislative leader, Hayes served in the Pennsylvania State House of Representatives from 1970 until 1992, representing the 81st District, including Huntingdon, Centre and Blair Counties. He rose to the positions of Majority and Minority Whip, as well as Majority Leader.
Hayes is actively involved in his community, serving as the Chairman of the Pennsylvania Farmland Preservation Board, the Pennsylvania Farm Show Commission, the Pennsylvania Animal Health Commission, the Hardwoods Development Council, the Agriculture Law Center Board, and the Pennsylvania Fair Advisory Board. He is also a member of the Pennsylvania State Board of Education, Warriors Mark Grange, Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, American Legion, and the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
Hayes has received many awards and honors, including Penn State Alumni awards, the Man of the Year Award from the Pennsylvania Rural Electric Cooperatives, and the Leadership Award from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. He served five years on active duty with the U.S. Army and is a veteran of the Vietnam War where he received the Bronze Star.
Chancellor Anita McDonald presided over the commencement ceremony and conferred degrees. Senior Instructor in Wildlife Technology Joseph Hummer served as Campus Marshall, and Director of Academic Affairs Debra Straussfogel presented academic awards.
Upon congratulating the new graduates, McDonald said, "All of us at Penn State DuBois are thankful for the opportunity we have had to help guide each of you on your own paths to success. Contrary to what you may have heard or read, Penn State DuBois is and will remain a vital part of the community for generations to come. We ask that you stay connected with the campus and represent us well in the community, or wherever your career path takes you. Remain Penn State DuBois Proud."