Sunday, October 12, 2008

Furman University Blue Shoes Event

I was invited by The Furman Blue Shoes scholarship organization to speak at the prestigious University as a kick-off for their cross country meet and part of their Homecoming festivities.

Chris Borch (Furman '78) set this scholarship up. He set it up basically to extend the opportunity to high school students who are interested in attending, running for and experience Furman just as he did. He didn't want money to be the reason that would sway students away from the University.

Ken Pettus, head of athlete development at Furman and Dave Pate, former Furman runner, we very good hosts as well. I started my day off talking to the football team as they prepared for their Homecoming game, which they won. I am going to claim that I had something to do with victory!

Like I said earlier, this event was the kick-off for their cross country event, little did I know, it is a huge event! They had 46 high schools and 16 colleges in attendance this year. I talked and took pictures with a lot of the runners after they finished up practice, they were really excited. I felt like a rock star out there.

I toured around the campus, it is a very beautiful lay out and they have some wonderful facilities as well.

We ate, I meet several of the current track runners on the Furman team, then we started the program. I was the guest speaker during the main program, Dave gave me a pretty funny introduction. The theme of the program was "Life Lessons Through Learning and Scholarship" When I first accepted to do the speech, I had no idea what I was going to speak about, then I started to some reflection on my life as a whole. After doing that, I easily had a speech lined up that lasted over 20 minutes. I took everybody through the entire life of David Oliver, all the ups and downs and life changing experiences I had. Looking out in to the crowd, it seemed like all the kids were hanging on my words. At the end, I received a resounding standing ovation. Dave, Chris and Ken were telling me that I spoke directly to the audience and they were also very impressed. Maybe I have a niche for speaking, who knows. That's the main reason I wanted to be a marketing major, you can just talk and talk. LOL.

You never know who you can touch. Whether it's one person or 100 people, you never know. One girl specifically came up to me and could instantly identify with what I was talking about, so I know I got to one person, that's the most important part of being in a position to do what I am doing. Success on the track is just a platform to get a message out there.

I had a great time in Greenville, SC, another place I had never been in my life. I'm racking up a lot of those type of places! Thanks a lot Furman and the Blue Shoes organization.


LaLa said...

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