A few short days after graduating, with my wife and a small son by my side, a degree in hand, and a determined resolve, I set out for Dallas, Texas. I was ready and anxious to make my mark upon the world of professional accounting. Behind me was the university—the campus and the environment that had meant so much to me. In front of me was the chance of my lifetime.
Within days of beginning my first real job, a professional mentor put his arm around me and invited me to become involved with a BYU alumni group. He was an influential executive in the accounting firm for which I worked, and, frankly, I had but little choice to agree.
Well, that was a lot of years and, as you can see, a lot of hair ago. But how fortunate I was to have someone who was intuitive enough to encourage me along such a meaningful path. Over the years I have made a deliberate decision to be actively involved with the BYU alumni groups. And in the process, some significant things have happened:
First, I was introduced to an array of activities and opportunities that were beneficial to me from a professional and a social standpoint.
Second, the individuals with whom I have become involved have been supportive, if not influential, in my own professional development.
Third, I was introduced to an opportunity to stay connected with the university and to continue to feel that sense of deeper emotion and attachment that comes from just being on this campus.
Fourth, and perhaps most significant to me at this point, my involvement with BYU alumni groups has given me the chance to try and repay the university—both in volunteer service and in resources. It is just a small portion of everything I received here. And just like you, I think I will always be in arrears on that scorecard, but I will never stop trying to repay that debt.
And so, this is it! Your tomorrow is here. As you leave the campus and pursue the chance of your lifetime, I am confident that you will reflect often on the educational and spiritual roots provided by your BYU experience.
Come back to campus often for athletic games, performing arts concerts, Aspen Grove Family Camp, Campus Education Week, Women’s Conference, and Homecoming festivities. I think you will find that every visit renews your love for the university and strengthens your resolve to “Go Forth to Serve.”
There are now over 150 alumni chapters throughout the U.S. and abroad and more than 350,000 alumni. Make a difference: contact your local chapter and join with us in the rewarding process of replenishing the wells from which we have all benefited.
In conclusion, as president of the BYU Alumni Association, I hereby confer on each of you lifetime membership in the Brigham Young University Alumni Association. May you consider the honor, the value, and the responsibility of this title and use it well is my prayer in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
© Brigham Young University. All rights reserved.
Brent W. Romney was president of the BYU Alumni Association when this BYU commencement address was given on 14 August 2003.