Speaker tells Lincoln graduates to look for purpose

2013 Lincoln University graduates pause for a photo as they make their way in the procession towards the seating area at the beginning of the commencement ceremony on Saturday at the Dwight T. Reed Stadium.

2013 Lincoln University graduates pause for a photo as they make their way in the procession towards the seating area at the beginning of the commencement ceremony on Saturday at the Dwight T. Reed Stadium. Photo by Shaun Zimmerman.

“Work is how human beings connect, and all aspects of our life create life work,” said Joseph David Johnson, president and CEO of Telein Group and keynote speaker at Lincoln University’s commencement ceremony.

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With decorated caps and varied expressions, members of the 2013 Lincoln University graduating class fill their designated seating area during Saturday's commencement ceremony.

The ceremony was Saturday at Dwight T. Reed Stadium on LU’s Jefferson City campus.

“Life’s work has purpose,” Johnson told the stadium full of graduates, and their friends and family. “Purpose and relationships allow you to make the difference that God put you here for.”

He told the graduates that they have achieved their degree, but asked them if they know their purpose.

“You have to set out and find that purpose for yourself,” he said.

Johnson, a Poplar Bluff native, graduated from Lincoln University 45 years ago with his wife, Julie (Hamilton) Johnson. The two met the first day of freshman orientation. The couple lives in California and has two adult daughters.

Although Johnson has degrees in education, he is a businessman. He served as an officer in Military Intelligence for the United States Army, has worked in various human resources staff and management positions at General Mills, has worked as group vice president of personnel and organization at Xerox Corporation and is now president and CEO of Telein Group, an agency that facilitates “leaders through their personal and organizational transitions and transformations.”

“Purpose will be something that will call persistently all the time and it might not be what you majored in,” Johnson said.

His purpose called beyond the classroom. He said it was a global calling.

He’s had three keys to success.

“They are attitude, attitude and attitude,” he said.

He also said it’s important to remember that God has a role in our lives and if your request to God is not right, he will say ‘no’; if you are not right, God will say ‘grow’; and if the time is not right, God will say ‘slow.’

“If you are right and the time is right, God will say ‘go,’” Johnson said. “Go, students, Go.”

Accompanying photos:

LU graduates #1

LU graduates #2

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