168th Commencement Ceremony Held

May 10, 2014

ALLIANCE, Ohio — More than 450 students participated in the University of Mount Union’s 168th Commencement Ceremony held Saturday, May 10 in the Peterson Field House of the McPherson Academic and Athletic Complex.

International students and faculty from China, France, Germany, India, Japan, Malaysia, Spain and Vietnam were among those participating in the ceremony, with flags of those nations displayed as part of the graduation regalia.

This year’s Commencement speaker was Nancy Hill ‘79, president and CEO of the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) and a member of the University of Mount Union’s Board of Trustees

During her speech, Hill discussed “How do You Want Your Eggs – Empowerment vs. Entitlement.”

Hill encouraged members of the Class of 2014 to make their own decisions and put everything they have into those decisions.

“You get to make the decisions now about what your life is going to look like,” she said. “You get to decide how ambitious you want to be. You get to decide what kind of life you want to lead.”

Hill compared making life decisions to ordering eggs at a restaurant.

“You can choose to have the same kind of eggs every single time, or you can choose to change it up every once in a while,” she said.

Hill told graduates that much has been written about the “millennial” generation, with people saying they’re “whiney,” “overprotected” and “entitled.”

“They say you won awards for just showing up. They say you want a reward before you put in the time. I prefer to think of you as empowered – empowered to take on exactly what you want to take on and make it your own. Empowered to believe that anything is possible, even if everything is not.”

Hill told graduates that they will face opposing forces each time they make a decision, and it will be up to them to decide which side wins each time, adding that this kind of empowerment requires discipline.

“Don’t walk into your first job thinking that someone will take your hand and show you the ropes,” she said. “Don’t expect that next promotion just because ‘it’s time.’ Make yourself invaluable to your boss and the promotion will come. Don’t be the whiner who complains about everything the company is doing wrong – be the one to find the solutions that will change things. That’s empowerment.”

Hill told the Class of 2014 to “be brave, be bold, be original and be yourself.”

“You don’t need our permission to succeed on your own terms, but you certainly have our blessing,” she said in closing.

Hill’s advertising career began in 1983 at Doner/Baltimore, where she worked for 10 years. She was then employed by TBWA\Chiat\Day in both St. Louis and Los Angeles. After that, Hill moved to San Francisco to work for Goldberg Moser O’Neill (which became Hill Holiday in 2001). Next, Hill worked at BBDO as the executive vice president and managing director before being hired as the CEO of Lowe New York. She joined the 4A’s as president and CEO in 2008.

Hill has led the organization’s efforts on diversity through talent development, recruitment and media buying guidelines. Under her command, the 4A’s provides leadership, advocacy and guidance to the advertising community.

Hill has earned many awards and recognitions. She received the “Changing the Game Award” from the Advertising Women of New York. Advertising Age honored her as one of the “Women to Watch” and one of the “100 Most Influential Women in Advertising History.” Both the Arthritis Foundation and the Girl Scouts have named her a “Woman of Distinction.”

Still very involved in the community, Hill is a member of the Board of Directors of The Partnership at drugfree.org, The Ad Council, The National Advertising Review Council, TORCH, AdColor, The Digital Advertising Alliance and The Marcus Graham Project. In addition, Hill volunteers with the organization People Helping People, which is focused on providing education to the residents of Andean villages in northern Ecuador. She has helped the organization build several schools and provide scholarships for more than 800 high school and university students.

During the ceremony, the Heaton W. Harris and Corinne Harris Smith Prize was presented to senior Laryssa Byndas, a mathematics major of Brooklyn, OH. The Good Citizenship Award went to senior Rika Awakihara, a sociology major of Osakafu, Japan.

Commencement 2014

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