“I remembered reading a book I enjoyed, “Run to the Roar: Coaching to Overcome Fear” written by the all-time winningest college coach, Paul Assaiante. Has anyone read the book?”Mr. Toffey, Convocation Speaker
268 students. 17 countries. 18 states. One community.
With numbers like this, how do we personalize and build community? Through shared experiences. These shared experiences are our traditions. From our opening week, our traditions bind us over the years. We begin with the less formal opening ceremony, “Convocation” celebration, and formal dinner and close the year with graduation.
As with graduation and baccalaureate at the end of the year, convocation includes a guest speaker who sets the goals for the coming year. This year, guest speaker Mr. Toffey. the Dean of Enrollment Management and Strategy gave students (and faculty) three challenges – and a bonus challenge for the year ahead.
Run to the Roar
After joking that Mrs. Lambert “must really be desperate” to ask him to be the speaker, he thanked her but declined her offer. In his speech, Mr. Toffey reflected, ” that night I thought more about my response and wondered why I said ‘no’.” The next morning I woke up and realized I said ‘no’ because I was scared and nervous. This is not a reason to do something, so I emailed Mrs. Lambert.” With that, Mr. Toffey set the first challenge – to ‘run to the roar.’
Be Present in the Moment
Our campus, Mr. Toffey pointed out, is filled with examples of students, many now recent alumni who chose to run to the roar. You can see examples on our website (Better Outcomes) and on the wall outside of the College Counseling Office. These students were also “present in the moment.” These are examples of students who walked into Faculty Hall every day (the dining hall) and saw our Great 8 Core Values surrounding the room and took notice. Mr. Toffey encouraged all who were gathered on the Academic Quad to know and understand the Great 8 and to be present in the moment. In speaking of the recent alumni, he suggested new students learn the stories of Bryan Perla ’17 and Sophie Jamison ’18 and why we have “The Little ELF” and a Nerf gun in our Admissions Office.
Replace “Have to” in Your Vocabulary
Mr. Toffey is a reader, even if he’s reading six to 10 pages a night, he loves to read before going to sleep. He spoke to the students about Jon Gordan and his idea of replacing “have to” in his vocabulary with “want to.” So, instead of thinking, “I have to see my teacher for extra help” you “get to see your teacher for extra help.” According to Gordan and Toffey, life is all in your perspective.
“Trust me, you don’t have to see Mrs. Draugsvold or Mr. Harvey for extra help, you ‘get to see them’.”
The Three Challenges and a Bonus Fourth Challenge
- Run to the roar – meet challenges head on
- Be present in the moment and to live where your feet are
- Replace “I HAVE to” with I get to”
and the fourth challenge is to read every day, even if it’s only six to 10 pages a night.