On Sunday, the Odyssey Convocation was held at the Trojan Arena, symbolizing the beginning of a new academic year for incoming students and their families.
Herbert Reeves, dean of student services, shared the meaning and significance of the Odyssey.
“It is symbolic in that the journey begins and ends in Trojan Arena with the convocation and commencement once a student completes their course of study,” Reeves said. “Odyssey is a celebration of a student’s journey by the sharing of expectations and traditions of Troy and the beginning of a new chapter in their life.”
In the spirit of celebration, Neal Brown, Troy’s head football coach, led attendees in the fight song, performed by the Sound of the South marching band.
Earl Ingram, senior vice chancellor for academic affairs, opened with a few words, followed by a ceremonial torch lighting from Ellis Bush.
Olivia Melton, a senior math and economics major from Orange Beach and Student Government Association president, welcomed Tom Foreman, this year’s speaker, to the stage.
Foreman is an Emmy award-winning Troy alumnus who serves as a journalist and columnist for CNN.
He told students to become “interesting” during their time at Troy.
“The most important thing you can do while you are in college is to become a more interesting person,” he said. “Interesting people have interesting friends and they have interesting jobs and take interesting trips, and lead interesting lives.”
Foreman’s reporting career began at a small radio station in Alabama while he was still in high school.
He graduated Magna Cum Laude from Troy State University in 1981, and holds an honorary doctorate from Quinnipiac University. After college, he worked for WSFA-TV in Montgomery.
Foreman joined CNN in 2004 and is based in the network’s Washington, D.C., bureau, where he covers a wide range of topics for the network.
In his book “My Year of Running Dangerously,” Foreman wrote about his journey through four half-marathons, three marathons and one 55-mile race.
“Nobody can think about running 50 miles,” Foreman said. “It’s about running the next mile, and when you get done with that, you think about the next one.”
Courtney Finley, a freshman pre-med major from Auburn, shared her experience at the Odyssey Convocation and what she is most looking forward to this upcoming year.
“I enjoyed it; it was nice,” Finley said. “I’m looking forward to the football games, going to class and other sporting events.”
Amari Battle, a freshman biology major from Birmingham, shared what inspired her the most.
“The event was good and very informative,” Battle said. “I’m most looking forward to growth, and Foreman inspired me to succeed in doing that.”
In an interview with the Tropolitan, Foreman encouraged students to be enthusiastic about thriving in school.
“Be enthusiastic about everything, keep your mind open and try it all,” Foreman said. “Be wise enough to know what sticks.”
For students unsure of what career path to take, Forman shared some insight.
“You (students) watch other people slam through four years of trying to force themselves through suffering and doing something that they hate and they are not good at,” he said. “Why are you doing this? It helps if you work hard at something you have a chance at succeeding at.”
He encourages others to learn from their mistakes and continue on the journey of life.
“Don’t waste one minute whining about what might have been, or what you wish had happened, or that you made a mistake,” Foreman said. “Go. Take a step forward. Life is great.”