Activities & Organizations

Speakers inspire students at annual Convocation

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Honors students gained a better understanding of planning their future from professor Ted Estess and University President Renu Khator, both speakers at the Fall Convocation. Fernando Castaldi/ The Daily Cougar

The room was standing only as students, parents and faculty poured into the Grand Ballroom of the Hilton UH for the 35th annual Honors College Fall Convocation Thursday evening.

President Renu Khator opened with inspiring words, calling UH “the best place” and emphasizing that it is not a university that lives in the “ivory tower,” but is, in fact, a humble university that is involved with the community.

“Great universities are built by great communities and great communities are subbed by great universities,” Khator said.

Though Khator’s speech evoked school pride, it was keynote speaker and Honors College founding Dean Ted Estess who was the true inspiration of the night, as he spoke regarding a past personal project of his regarding a work of Pablo Picasso.

“A picture holds us captive and will not let us go. Inevitably each of us is captive to a picture or group of pictures with which and in terms of which we understand ourselves and the world,” Estess said.

“Our pictures can serve us ill or can serve us well — sometimes both. We can hold to our pictures in a closed, intolerant way, or we can hold to our pictures in an open, flexible, imaginative way.”

Estess concluded by indirectly challenging the audience to be flexible with their pictures in order to grow to their full potential.

“I liked how (Estess) was once young and foolish and able to get stuck on an idea,” said electrical engineering freshman Marisa Smith. “I learned I can definitely become an important student in the Honors College if I work hard.”

Hotel and restaurant management freshman Molly Dyer was excited to see a different side of her professor and was inspired by Estess’ words.

“I really like to imagine Dr. Estess as some young student who doesn’t know (the answers),” Dyer said. “I tend to get stuck on ideas like Dr. Estess did. If I want to succeed, I need to look at things from many different perspectives.”

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Correction: A correction has been made to Marisa Dyer’s final quote.

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