by Trey Moore, Student Contributor
With the smooth start of another semester, Alice Lloyd College opened the doors of its convocation series on Tuesday, January 15th. As always, students, staff, and faculty members were met with positive words from President Joe Stepp regarding the ongoing projects on campus. Plans to updates buildings such as the Campbell Arts Center and the Anderson Science Center as well as completion of streetlamp installation, improvements to parking areas, and preparations for a new women’s dormitory were all featured in the president’s encouraging address. “We are very blessed… we are not trying to get bigger, just better and stronger,” is what President Stepp had to say about the new developments that will undoubtedly further provide the students with the commodities and atmosphere to strive for success.
Following President Stepp’s remarks was the keynote speaker, Aaron Wilburn. A hardworking man from a hardworking Alabama family, Wilburn was the son of a sharecropper and knew that a successful life and career would come only from his own persistence and diligent work ethic. A decorated songwriter and powerful inspirational speaker, Aaron Wilburn has touched a countless amount of lives across the nation with his comedic but heartfelt and musical presentations. Wilburn realized from an early age that songwriting was his dream and took it upon himself to pave his own road to Nashville where he has gone on to produce songs that have been showered in professional praise and numerous accolades such as winning a Dove Award and three Grammy Award nominations. His success inspired him to help others recognize their own vision for greatness as well; Wilburn now tours the country entertaining and speaking to universities, colleges, businesses, and many other institutions and groups about how everyone must realize that, as he says, “All the voices around us are life coaches that help us achieve our dreams”.
While addressing the ALC students at convocation, Wilburn elaborated on his statement by telling his audience, “Some voices are positive, some voices are negative, but all of us need to use our God-given gift of being able to learn and grow from every moment while continuing to chase that dream.” He urged everyone in attendance to not let anyone discourage them from pursuing their dreams to the fullest no matter how difficult the challenge. “Don’t let your dreams get crushed,” Wilburn told ALC students, “but take positives from the negatives and use those to fulfill your goals.”
Just like the millions of others who have been blessed with hearing the encouraging and passionate words of Mr. Wilburn, those in attendance at the convocation were treated with refreshing laughter and a reinvigorated sense of purpose to pursue their personal goals. Wilburn’s advice coupled with Alice Lloyd College’s profuse teaching of hard work and perseverance has given every student the tools necessary to reach the pinnacle of his or her own areas of interest.