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Rome urges students to seek success at LU

Lincoln University President Kevin Rome speaks at Thursday’s convocation. It was his first time to address the faculty, staff and student body at the annual event.

Lincoln University President Kevin Rome speaks at Thursday’s convocation. It was his first time to address the faculty, staff and student body at the annual event.

Lincoln University’s freshmen aren’t the only new faces on campus — new President Kevin Rome has been on the job almost 31⁄2 months.

“It’s a pleasure to be standing in front of you,” he said at the beginning of a 20-minute address to the students’ Opening Convocation Thursday morning.

Rome thanked students for choosing to attend Lincoln when “there were so many institutions you could have chosen,” and he encouraged all students — freshmen and veterans alike — to “capture this campus.”

“Anything that we do, we have to do in collaboration,” he said.

And he urged all students to “keep the faith,” “hang in there” and “don’t give up” when things get discouraging.

Instead, he said, students should “claim this campus as your home,” helping to keep it clean and welcoming for all who work and study there, as well as for visitors.

“If we don’t take pride in the institution, if we don’t love the institution,” he said, “we really can’t expect anyone else to do that for us.”

Students also should have “attitude,” the new president said, adding that isn’t a bad word.

“We need all different types of attitudes to be able to affect change on this campus,” Rome explained. “The positive, uplifting attitudes will serve us well in getting others to see what is on the horizon, and inspire them to travel with us on this journey to make Lincoln a better institution. ...

“They might be just what we need to make our unified voice heard that change is a-comin’ and we’re bringing it.”

Students, faculty and staff all need constant motivation to do better work, he said, and to be united in seeking input from everyone so that all have a good “collegiate experience.”

The ultimate goal is “success,” Rome said. “If success isn’t a goal, then why are we working here at this place, anyway?

“If you’re not here to be successful, then why are you here?”

No one should be afraid to ask questions or seek help when they’re having trouble understanding classes or issues, he said.

“So many students sit back and don’t take action,” Rome explained. “They don’t fail because they don’t have the ability.

“They fail because they don’t take the actions needed to be successful.”

College should not just be “a very expensive party,” he said.

But success in college isn’t a goal by itself.

“Study like your life depends on it,” Rome said, to applause. “Prepare as if the lives of your family, or your future family depends on it.

“Because it just might. ... It’s not just about you.”

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