Friday, June 13, 2014

America’s Graduates: Transform the Nation with Character

As graduates from American schools celebrate during this time of year, we congratulate them.

We commend their efforts, perseverance, and success. At the same time we encourage them to step up courageously to this pivotal time in history. They have the power to change the world by living lives of character.

Rising to the Occasion
Society is undergoing extraordinary challenges. America is experiencing an unprecedented head-on collision—a culture of violence and crisis of character.

This current crisis did not happen overnight. It has taken generations for us to arrive at this juncture. It will take generations to transform our nation. America’s youth are critical to this transformation—they are the future of our nation and the world.

Our youth must carry the torch and keep the flame of hope burning bright. They have the responsibility of turning the tide. Their energy, enthusiasm, and generosity will build a better world. The culture of violence and crisis of character may have its day. But in due time, the character of our youth will lift the nation.

Our youth are America’s treasure. Let us encourage them to rise to the occasion—their families, communities, and nation needs them. They deserve our affirmation and guidance to ignite a renewal of character within America and throughout the world.

Be a Person of Character
Although I am privileged to address large assemblies of youth, a recent venue deserves recognition. It represents the great hope we must have in our youth.

On Saturday, March 8, I delivered my signature presentation for college students titled “Be a Person of Character: Change the World” at Monmouth University.

This event celebrated the Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society’s induction ceremony. It honored academic excellence, character, and family with over 800 students, family, and friends in attendance.

The 249 new members of the honor society—out of a class of close to 1,000—were inducted. They maintained a 3.5 or higher GPA in their first semester at Monmouth University.

During my keynote, I asked the audience to take a journey with me. A candid picture of societal challenges was painted:
•Our Culture of Violence and Character Crisis
•Social Networking Ramifications
•Broken Families
•The Gang Mentality
•America’s “Get High” Society

We then moved from the challenges to the power of character:
•Achieving Greatness through Sacrifice
•Living a Life of Dignity
•Kindness, Respect, Civility
•Community Building
•Bringing Out the Best in Others
•Helping Others Do What Is Right

As I spoke, families responded with thunderous rounds of applause and three standing ovations. This fervor was directed to the students encouraging them to change the world through their character.

Afterward, Rianna Rae, an inductee and international business major, said, “I think it’s very important to recognize that the world can be a better place and our generation can be the change the world needs.”

Rae continued, “I got chills seeing friends and family of inductees standing and applauding us knowing that they believe we, as inductees, can really make a difference on campus, in the local community, and the world if we so choose.”

The Future Is Bright
At times it can seem that the future is bleak when bombarded by apathy and one crisis after another. But America’s future is bright because of these students and many like them nationwide. These young people, supported by the admiration of their families and friends remind us of the power of community, character, and encouragement.

Although my words implored the students to change the world, the highlight of the day was their enthusiasm, respectfulness, and energy. Our youth give America great hope and I am confident they will heed their call to reawakening the nation.

As published in Vincent's weekly column titled Reawakening the Nation for the Friday, June 13, 2014 edition of the Epoch Times.

1.Monmouth University Phi Eta Semma National Honor Society officers (L-R), Amanda Kruzynski (president), Alexis DeCarvalho (vice president), Dr. Golam M. Mathbor (faculty adviser) Vincent J. Bove (keynote speaker), Taylor Bernosky (historian), Carolina Carvalho (secretary), and Rebecca Groom (treasurer). (Brian Kutner)
2.Over 800 family, friends, and students at the National Honor Society Induction. (Vincent J. Bove)
3.Monmouth University Phi Eta Semma National Honor Society inductees on March 8, 2014, with keynote speaker Vincent J. Bove. (Courtesy of Dr. Golam M. Mathbor)
4.Student volunteers with complimentary copies of “Listen To Their Cries” for all inductees as sponsored by Monmouth University. (Vincent J. Bove)

Dear Mr. Bove,
On behalf of Phi Eta Sigma, National Freshman Honor, we would like to thank you very much for your eloquent keynote speech to our new honor society members and their guests for a total audience of 800 people. These new members are the finest group of students who maintained a 3.5 or higher GPA in their first semester at Monmouth University during the 2013 fall semester. This year 249 students are inducted as members of this prestigious honor society from a freshman class of close to 1000 students. The theme of your address ‘be a person of character’ is pivotal in maintaining academic excellence in their future career at Monmouth and beyond. I am sure the new members will take advantage of the advice given in your book Listen to their Cries: Calling the Nation to Renewal from Columbine to Virginia Tech.

Golam M. Mathbor, Ph.D.
Professor and Associate Dean
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Advisor, Phi Eta Sigma National Freshman Honor Society
Monmouth University Chapter

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