166th Commencement Ceremony Held at Mount Union

May 05, 2012


ALLIANCE, Ohio — Nearly 470 students participated in the University of Mount Union’s 166th Commencement Ceremony held Saturday, May 5 in the Peterson Field House of the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.

International students from Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Japan, Malaysia, Peru, Serbia and Vietnam were among those graduating from Mount Union, with flags of those nations displayed as part of graduation regalia.

This year’s Commencement speaker was E. Dominic Capers, 1972 graduate of the University of Mount Union and defensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers. Capers built a successful coaching career on a solid foundation of teaching at several universities, including Kent State, San Jose State and Ohio State. Capers is entering his 27th season in the NFL and his fourth year as defensive coordinator with the Green Bay Packers. In his three seasons with the Packers, he turned the team into one of the league’s most formidable defenses.

Capers is one of the most experienced coaches in the NFL, spending time with seven different franchises before going to Green Bay. His coaching resume includes leading the expansion teams of the Carolina Panthers and the Houston Texans as head coach.

During his speech, Capers discussed the topic, “Talent Alone is Not Enough,” sharing three of the most critical factors to success in any chosen field. Those factors, he said, include finding something you love, understanding the law of compensation — the more you give, the more you get back and preparing for adversity and surviving success.

Capers said it is important to find something you love, and that having a passion for what one is doing is more important than having a plan. A passionate person with limited talent will outperform a passive person with greater talent, he said.

“It’s that burning desire that drives you from when you get up in the morning until you go to bed at night,” he said. “Passion helps you enjoy the journey as much as reaching the destination.”

The law of compensation, Capers said, refers to the notion that the more a person gives, the more they get back.

“Today we live in a quick fix, instant gratification society,” he said. “Everyone is looking for ways to cut corners and take shortcuts. But nothing meaningful comes without a lot of hard work. Any success you attain by cutting corners and taking shortcuts will be short-lived. Success normally comes to those that will do all of the little things most people will not do.”

Capers noted that every person experiences adversity in their lives, but the key is how they respond to it. The first step, he said, is for each person to accept their role in adversity and stick to a plan.

“You cannot lose faith in your plan,” Capers said. “You must stick to what you believe in. Do not doubt yourself and begin to experiment.”

To be successful in any field, Capers said, one has to pay a high price and the process is often long and grueling.

“Success can build a level of contentment in all of us,” he said. “We have to be careful not to relax. We can never feel like the journey is over and that we have arrived. If we ever feel that way we have already begun to slide. To be a champion, you must stay prepared, stay hungry and stay driven.”

Also during the ceremony, an honorary degree was awarded to Capers.

In addition, the Heaton W. Harris and Corinne Harris Smith Prize was presented to senior Carolyn Ch’ng, an economics and financial mathematics major of Penang, Malaysia. The Good Citizenship Award went to senior Nicholas Boyde, a chemistry major of Monaca, PA.

Commencement 2012

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