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Tennessee Tech President Addresses FHU Graduates

Henderson, Tennessee - May 21, 2019

Dr. Phil Oldham, president of Tennessee Tech University, delivered the commencement address Saturday, May 18, at Freed-Hardeman University. He grew up in Henderson as a part of the FHU family and is an alumnus of Freed-Hardeman and a former member of the university’s Board of Trustees.

Oldham encouraged graduates to enjoy the day. “Take it all in,” he said. In his remarks, he listed the characteristics of lions, noting their strength, courage, excellent night vision, and their living in packs - all of which make the lion an excellent mascot.

As president of Tennessee Tech, Oldham was encouraged by students to write a statement summarizing his beliefs to go along with a reading they were required to do. Excerpts from his personal “This I Believe” included the following: (1) Life is one grand uncontrolled experiment. (2) Every choice affects the future. (3) The best course is to accept the uncertainty of life, make the best decisions possible and assume responsibility. “Finally,” he said, “know that the God who created you can and will make any life, no matter how complicated and messy, worth living.”

Oldham concluded his remarks as he does all graduations at Tennessee Tech by quoting Isa. 40:30-31:

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;

but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary,

They will walk and not be faint.

“You are well prepared,” Oldham told the graduates. “You have everything you need. You are lions. Believe it and go write your own story.”